Family friends describe parents of woman who 'melted into couch' as 'pure evil'

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By Kim Novak

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More details have emerged about the tragic life of Lacey Fletcher who was found dead aged 36 after having "melted" into a couch where she'd lain for 12 years straight.

The shocking case came to light after Lacey's parents, Clay and Sheila Fletcher, called 911 in January 2022 after the young woman stopped breathing.

Paramedics and the coroner were left horrified to find Lacey emaciated and naked except for a T-shirt, with the bottom half of her body sunken into a couch and infested with maggots after laying in her own excrement.

Now, friends of the family have shared their thoughts on Lacey's life and family, with one even describing her mother as "pure evil".

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Lacey Fletcher's death shocked the world. Credit: Handout

Clay and Sheila, both 66,  had initially pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder for Lacey's death, having been indicted twice by a grand jury in Clinton, Louisiana, before pleading no contest to a charge of manslaughter 18 months later in February 2024.

The pair are set to face sentencing on March 20 and could be jailed for up to 40 years each.

Sheila's lawyer, Steven Moore, argued that the couple did not intend to cause their daughter's death, and their actions in the years preceding it were out of "love". He claimed: "They loved their daughter to death," adding that the parents are "completely remorseful" about her death, according to the Daily Mail.

Moore maintained that the Fletchers had never intended to harm their daughter, adding: "They were negligent, yes.

"It is clear they were negligent. They loved her to death, that is the true statement with the Fletchers. They loved their daughter to death.

"When you look back at it, you wonder, why? How could this happen? It did happen. But at no point did Sheila or Clay Fletcher ever have a single intent to harm their daughter. They loved their daughter to a fault."

He also referenced Lacey reportedly having autism, adding: "Anyone with handicapped children can tell you those things can happen.

"This is an extreme example of how that happens. They have taken responsibility. Now they look back they can't believe they got to the position they're in."

Moore admitted: "The things that happened to Lacey are horrible. But they cared for her daily. Sheila Fletcher would come home at lunch every day to care and eat lunch with her daughter every single day. She slept on the couch, with her daughter every night."

He added that the couple's life "revolved around Lacey" and that they were "blinded by her handicap" which led to her slowly wasting away on their couch.

However, family friend Jess Easley told the New York Post: "Don’t tell me there was love there. They may have seemed nice but there was a terrible disgusting side to them.

"How could anybody do that to another human being much less your own child? There is no way you can sugarcoat this, no way. This is pure evil is what it is. Pure evil."

Jeri Lowe-Howell, who was Lacey’s ninth-grade teacher at Brownfields Baptist Academy shortly before she was removed and reportedly homeschooled, broke down as she spoke of what the young woman was like when she knew her.

She told the outlet: "Lacey was precious and a wonderful spirit. She had the most beautiful blue eyes and the most precious smile. I am absolutely heartbroken. She was gentle and sweet and loving and she deserved to be loved. There is no excuse for what happened. None."

Jeri added that she believes that Sheila may have been in denial about what was wrong with Lacey, with the family having claimed she was autistic or had social anxiety.

She continued: "She may well have had autism but that is no excuse for letting her rot away for years until she died."

The teacher added that even if Lacey had been "resistant or difficult" in some way, her parents should have called in professional help, adding: "They weren’t helpless. There are resources. I just can’t understand this."

Jeri stated that she had only known Lacey for a year, during which time she occasionally had a "vacant stare" which made it "hard to know what she was thinking", but other children and parents who had known her for many years said that the change in her behavior was "recent" and that she was starting to "fall behind academically and socially."

She disappeared from view around 2002 when she was 16 years old, with neighbors claiming that they hadn't seen her in 15 years before her death, despite her being in her parents' home in Slaughter, Louisiana.

Other friends of the family were not even aware that Clay and Sheila had a child, as Lacey was never spoken about or seen.

Lacey's death was found to have been down to sepsis caused by severe and prolonged neglect.

Featured image credit: D-Keine/Getty Images

Family friends describe parents of woman who 'melted into couch' as 'pure evil'

vt-author-image

By Kim Novak

Article saved!Article saved!

More details have emerged about the tragic life of Lacey Fletcher who was found dead aged 36 after having "melted" into a couch where she'd lain for 12 years straight.

The shocking case came to light after Lacey's parents, Clay and Sheila Fletcher, called 911 in January 2022 after the young woman stopped breathing.

Paramedics and the coroner were left horrified to find Lacey emaciated and naked except for a T-shirt, with the bottom half of her body sunken into a couch and infested with maggots after laying in her own excrement.

Now, friends of the family have shared their thoughts on Lacey's life and family, with one even describing her mother as "pure evil".

wp-image-1263248532 size-full
Lacey Fletcher's death shocked the world. Credit: Handout

Clay and Sheila, both 66,  had initially pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder for Lacey's death, having been indicted twice by a grand jury in Clinton, Louisiana, before pleading no contest to a charge of manslaughter 18 months later in February 2024.

The pair are set to face sentencing on March 20 and could be jailed for up to 40 years each.

Sheila's lawyer, Steven Moore, argued that the couple did not intend to cause their daughter's death, and their actions in the years preceding it were out of "love". He claimed: "They loved their daughter to death," adding that the parents are "completely remorseful" about her death, according to the Daily Mail.

Moore maintained that the Fletchers had never intended to harm their daughter, adding: "They were negligent, yes.

"It is clear they were negligent. They loved her to death, that is the true statement with the Fletchers. They loved their daughter to death.

"When you look back at it, you wonder, why? How could this happen? It did happen. But at no point did Sheila or Clay Fletcher ever have a single intent to harm their daughter. They loved their daughter to a fault."

He also referenced Lacey reportedly having autism, adding: "Anyone with handicapped children can tell you those things can happen.

"This is an extreme example of how that happens. They have taken responsibility. Now they look back they can't believe they got to the position they're in."

Moore admitted: "The things that happened to Lacey are horrible. But they cared for her daily. Sheila Fletcher would come home at lunch every day to care and eat lunch with her daughter every single day. She slept on the couch, with her daughter every night."

He added that the couple's life "revolved around Lacey" and that they were "blinded by her handicap" which led to her slowly wasting away on their couch.

However, family friend Jess Easley told the New York Post: "Don’t tell me there was love there. They may have seemed nice but there was a terrible disgusting side to them.

"How could anybody do that to another human being much less your own child? There is no way you can sugarcoat this, no way. This is pure evil is what it is. Pure evil."

Jeri Lowe-Howell, who was Lacey’s ninth-grade teacher at Brownfields Baptist Academy shortly before she was removed and reportedly homeschooled, broke down as she spoke of what the young woman was like when she knew her.

She told the outlet: "Lacey was precious and a wonderful spirit. She had the most beautiful blue eyes and the most precious smile. I am absolutely heartbroken. She was gentle and sweet and loving and she deserved to be loved. There is no excuse for what happened. None."

Jeri added that she believes that Sheila may have been in denial about what was wrong with Lacey, with the family having claimed she was autistic or had social anxiety.

She continued: "She may well have had autism but that is no excuse for letting her rot away for years until she died."

The teacher added that even if Lacey had been "resistant or difficult" in some way, her parents should have called in professional help, adding: "They weren’t helpless. There are resources. I just can’t understand this."

Jeri stated that she had only known Lacey for a year, during which time she occasionally had a "vacant stare" which made it "hard to know what she was thinking", but other children and parents who had known her for many years said that the change in her behavior was "recent" and that she was starting to "fall behind academically and socially."

She disappeared from view around 2002 when she was 16 years old, with neighbors claiming that they hadn't seen her in 15 years before her death, despite her being in her parents' home in Slaughter, Louisiana.

Other friends of the family were not even aware that Clay and Sheila had a child, as Lacey was never spoken about or seen.

Lacey's death was found to have been down to sepsis caused by severe and prolonged neglect.

Featured image credit: D-Keine/Getty Images