For more than a decade, no one saw 36-year-old Lacey Ellen Fletcher outside of her parents’ home in Louisiana. In January 2022, Lacey, who lived with autism, was found dead and fused to her parents’ couch in a thick layer of her own excrement. Close neighbor Robert Blades, 59, told Daily Mail that she last saw the young woman outside of the home fifteen years ago – during that incident, she was exercising outside by carrying two weights with her while she walked the Louisiana neighborhood.
Blades, a father of two, always knew Lacey as “just a fun, normal kid” before she became more isolated from people at the age of fourteen. However, she was still seen around the neighborhood until she was about twenty-one years old, during the time she was seen exercising outside.
“When I saw her that last time, she appeared fairly physically normal,” Blades (below) said. “She was always pretty thin, and she was exercising in the road with those small weights you carry. I’d see her a few times, gently getting some exercise in the roadway. I didn’t say anything to her that final time. There was no reason to.”
Lacey vanished from her small-town community in Slaughter, Louisiana, and was not seen around the neighborhood for more than a decade. She was found dead inside of her parents’ home with her body fused to their sofa, where she had apparently stayed for twelve years straight. She had been sitting on the sofa for so long that her body wore a hole in the fabric.
When authorities found Lacey, her body was emaciated and smeared with feces and other excrement. She had suffered through a private ordeal while locked away inside her parents’ home.
Now, Clay and Sheila Fletcher, both 64, must face the swift fist of justice for what they did to their autistic daughter. Following a grand jury hearing at a courthouse in nearby Clinton, LA, both parents were charged with second-degree murder and could spend the rest of their lives behind bars for the miserable way their daughter was treated at the end of her life.
Both Fletcher parents are prominent Christian role models in their community. Nevertheless, they were arrested hours after the grand jury decision but managed to escape temporary confinement in East Feliciana Parish Jail by each posting a $300,000 bond.
Meanwhile, Blades, a retired welder, said that he asked Clay Fletcher about his daughter’s whereabouts about five years ago but did not receive an adequate answer.
“I asked Clay because I hadn’t seen her for so long. I actually thought maybe she got married and moved on,” Blades said. “I said, how is Lacey? How’s she doing? Has she moved off? Went to college or what? He replied, oh no, she’s still here. She’s fine. And then changed the subject. And that’s it. He didn’t explain why we hadn’t seen her at all. I just took him at his word. I had absolutely no suspicions about what actually happened at that house over the road from us. No alerts, nothing.”
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