LA - Lacey Fletcher 36, GRAPHIC, disabled, found dead, on couch for years, Jan'22 *Parents arrested*

MsMarple

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If she was as impaired as the parents state -- she would qualify for Social Security Disability and Medicaid here in the US, and a host of other social services at little or no cost to the individual as the programs are tax funded.

Public school would assist in the process, IDK about the private school in the news stories?

If the facts are as published, the parents denied her this.

Vocational Rehabilitation is in every state in the US, and will help either train the individual for a job OR qualify that individual for disability.

Community mental health services are also available in the US, a a community-based worker could come to the home, assess the individual, and chart a path forward. This could include tele-health (on-line appointments,) prescription support, all the way up to inpatient care.

If caregivers request this.

Apparently another service denied Ms. Fletcher.

jmho ymmv lrr
I'll vouch for your information: a quick Google search on "help for disabled adults louisiana" returned pages and pages of results of where to go for help for your disabled loved one in about 0.46 seconds. For Pete's sake, the mother has worked for the police and the city prosecutor. She was an Alderman. If anyone had access to community resources it was her!

Sheila Fletcher, 64, has worked as a police and court clerk in Baker and more recently as an assistant to the city prosecutor in Zachary, according to her LinkedIn page. A Slaughter official said she resigned her post on the town’s Board of Aldermen on Jan. 24, three weeks after Lacey Fletcher’s death. She served for four years, most recently as mayor pro tem.
 

Dotta

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If she was as impaired as the parents state -- she would qualify for Social Security Disability and Medicaid here in the US, and a host of other social services at little or no cost to the individual as the programs are tax funded.

Public school would assist in the process, IDK about the private school in the news stories?

If the facts are as published, the parents denied her this.

Vocational Rehabilitation is in every state in the US, and will help either train the individual for a job OR qualify that individual for disability.

Community mental health services are also available in the US, a a community-based worker could come to the home, assess the individual, and chart a path forward. This could include tele-health (on-line appointments,) prescription support, all the way up to inpatient care.

If caregivers request this.

Apparently another service denied Ms. Fletcher.

jmho ymmv lrr
Thank you for the answer!

What a SHAME that she was denied this help by her "parents"! :(
 

trujac

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Im beginning to suspect that the root of the problem was...money.

Lacey was an adult, she was not registered as a disabled person (well, that is my opinion).

So, if she wasn't medically insured (she didn't work), going to a facility might have cost a fortune.

But I might be wrong as I live far away from the USA, so I don't know the medical issues in this country.
I agree--after looking into various care homes, State mental institutions, etc. the cost of housing Lacey in any of those facilities might have adversely impacted her parent's finances. There should be some evidence showing that several people were contacted by the Fletchers when they were in the mode of exploring their options for Lacey. I think their attorney will try to convince the prosecutor or jury that there are several mitigating circumstances surrounding the Fletcher's crime against their daughter--lack of money, lack of community support from doctors, social workers, Dept. of Ed., family/friends, (all due to ignorance); then there's the psychological part--the lawyer might try to show how Lacey's parents weren't functioning normally either--living in their home for years in the mix of extremely foul decaying death-like odors and outrageous unsanitary conditions, while their daughter suffered slow painful deterioration and finally death. I think the prosecutor/jury will have to carefully weight everything to reach an appropriate sentence for the Fletchers...stacking on the left side of the scale factors showing initially that Lacey, Sheila, and Clay were alright for a number of years until things at there home started to derail. Then it appears a new set of problems began in the Fletcher's home with no one knowing and/or stepping in to help manage/change the situation. What happened is the big question--the right side of the scale (against the Fletchers)--is painfully obvious and quite damning. But it wouldn't surprise me if a jury of their peers have mercy on them.
 

Marysmith

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Both the parents worked at, IMO, decent jobs with decent pay. Their bond was paid within 24 hours. They own a nice home. They were on a trip when Lacey died and their pictures show a decent lifestyle. They have no other dependents that we know of. I hope for most people they would not think that these poor parent’s were so destitute they had no choice but to resort to absolutely no care for their only child. I know no one here is saying that but I have no empathy for them at all. Also wouldn’t she qualify for some state aid as an adult even?
 

trujac

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Both the parents worked at, IMO, decent jobs with decent pay. Their bond was paid within 24 hours. They own a nice home. They were on a trip when Lacey died and their pictures show a decent lifestyle. They have no other dependents that we know of. I hope for most people they would not think that these poor parent’s were so destitute they had no choice but to resort to absolutely no care for their only child. I know no one here is saying that but I have no empathy for them at all. Also wouldn’t she qualify for some state aid as an adult even?
I think mental illness plays a role--I hope so--otherwise, Lacey's parents are truly heartless monsters.
 

trujac

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I think mental illness plays a role--I hope so--otherwise, Lacey's parents are truly heartless monsters.
For those interested--there have been a number of studies that show providing care giving to children and adults with mental/physical disabilities adversely impact the caregiver's mental and physical health. There are numerous articles about the topic. Here are some links.

 

MsMarple

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Yes, maybe, that’s true! We don’t know.
I don’t think her parent’s are poor though and couldn’t afford any help at all for their child.
In Louisiana (and most states) a person can hire a bondsman to put up the full amount in exchange for a non-refundable percentage. In Louisiana the typical rate is 12% of the bond amount so it cost the parents $72,000 to get out of jail. The mother bonded out first and it took an additional day for the father to pay.

I have no idea if there are mental issues with the parents, all I can go by is that both were fully functional: they held demanding jobs, regularly attended church, were active in the community and some msm reports they were considered "pillars of the community." That doesn't describe mental illness.

By now most of us have researched available sources of help for disabled adults in Louisiana. Lacey's parents made a conscious decision *not* to choose that help. Maybe they were just fed up with caring for Lacey. Not all parents are selfless and loving. MOO.

We don't know everything that went on in that house but we do know how Lacey died:

Dr Bickham has revealed Lacey died from 'severe medical neglect, which led to chronic malnutrition, acute starvation, immobility, acute ulcer formation, osteomyelitis which is bone infection which led finally to sepsis'.
...
Coroner Bickham told DailyMail.com that the images shown to the [Grand] jury were so horrific and upsetting that medics were on standby for the 12 panel members.

Services & Programs | La Dept. of Health [Louisiana Dept. of Health Services and Programs]
 

La Louve

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I wonder when she was last on her parents’ health insurance.
The Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, when Lacey would have been 24 or so. The ACA would've allowed her to stay on her parents health insurance until age 25. That's assuming that they had her added as a dependant on the insurance and paid the premiums.

In order to be on Medicaid as a disabled adult she would have to be assessed physically and financially and determined to be qualified, according to Louisiana's Medicaid rules. ETA, and most likely she would be reassessed annually. I know in Washington state that's how it works. Not sure if Louisiana's rules are the same.

Among other possible crimes, her parents may have committed insurance fraud.
 
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trujac

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Did anyone see this video and news article about a nonspeaking student with autism? I just ran across it and think it fits in with our discussion about Lacey. Elizabeth Bonker's achievements are amazing--she talks about how several people have been instrumental in believing in her, and supporting her throughout her life. Please give it a view if you haven't seen it.

 

trujac

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First time reading this thread and I am physically sick from it.

I'm trying to understand how authorities were notified of her death. Apparently her mom made the 911 call? But if they had hidden this situation for years, why would they suddenly be ok with someone coming in and seeing the state of things?! And if they were ok with this being seen, why not call 911 much, much sooner and get her some help?

It just isn't adding up for me.

Her parents were away for a few days prior to her death. Was she regularly getting her own food? When they left for their trip, did they leave meals out for her near enough to reach in a cooler or something? Or were they just cool with letting her go days with no food? ("If she gets hungry enough, she'll eat the sofa foam")??

I wonder if she died before they left, or if she was obviously close to death and they decided to be gone long enough that they could come home and pretend to be surprised by finding her dead. Is it possible they thought no one would be able to tell that she'd been in the same spot for years?
Excellent points and questions in your post--I think not knowing their daughter was melted on the couch is unlikely, but believing the coroner might not put two and two together--that's possible. This case doesn't make any sense in so many ways--it is bizarre and explainable. I think I am going to sit on the sidelines until more information is released by law enforcement--the case is beginning to wear me thin.
 

PrimeSuspect

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This is a horrific case of neglect and abuse, I think of the saying, no one knows what goes on behind close doors. Babies who are left to starve to death while the family goes on as normal, children locked in rooms/cages, starved and neglected, adults with varying degrees of a disability, neglected by parents or carers, and locked away until they die in excruciating agony!

This case reminds me of Ann Marie Smith, who was left to rot and die in her own waste, sitting on a cane chair. She had cerebral palsy and it was her carer who was responsible. Ann Marie's parents died years earlier and left her financially well off to afford around the clock care. Somehow, one woman employed by the NDIS became the sole carer. As well as severely neglecting Ann Marie, she and her son stole money, jewelry, the refrigerator and drove Ann Marie's car for personal use but never took her anywhere! This woman was recently sentenced to 6 years jail, I bet she'll serve only a fraction of it!

I have many questions too like all of you about Lacey. Those years building up until her final days.

Was the family room in the basement, so a door shut off the room and smells, and the parents didn't look in on her everyday?

Did Lacey have access to a laptop after the last email sent years earlier to a friend? Did she watch t.v, read books, could she see out of a window?

When did she stop interacting with parents? Did she cry in pain until she couldn't anymore?

Did anyone else besides the parents know about Lacey never leaving the house, like other family members, other adult children?

Was this about shame? After a few years they couldn't tolerate Lacey's 'refusal' to engage with the world, get a job, so they decided to lock her away. They carried on with successful careers and lives while Lacey slowly deteriorated mentally and physically until she died. They were ashamed of her well before her condition became serious and didn't seek outside help?

The parents admitting they thought of institutionalizing her makes me think one of them strongly reacted to this idea and it was unacceptable to them.
They could've asked her to leave when she was 18, not that I'm saying that's an acceptable option, but they chose not to, which makes me think they were ashamed of her, wanted to keep her hidden away. Not allow anyone to visit her or encourage friendships.

I hope these parents are jailed for murder! It's just inconceivable a human would treat another human being like this, let alone their own daughter! :(

JMO
 

RaspberryMama

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Coroner Bickham told DailyMail.com that the images shown to the [Grand] jury were so horrific and upsetting that medics were on standby for the 12 panel members.
How completely awful for the people on the grand jury. I feel so bad for them. Seeing photos like this can traumatize sensitive and empathetic people and literally change their lives.
 

RaspberryMama

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In trying to understand how this got so out of hand, I find myself wondering if Lacey's parents saw her as being stubborn and a nuisance, as opposed to needing some mental health help.

She's an adult, they've had to deal with her and her issues for so long and they were hoping for some relief once she was an adult; hopefully she'd get a job, move out, stop being such a draining force in their lives. Instead she sits on the couch and refuses to move. At first they decide to just let her be stubborn and learn a lesson. Eventually they begin to think about having her institutionalized because she's sitting in her own filth and still being "stubborn".

But at least one of her parents was well-known in the community and the embarrassment of everyone knowing they have a daughter like this is just too much. Possibly they knew it would already look like abuse.

I feel like they were in denial of the fact that Lacey had a real mental health issue that needed to be addressed. That should've been obvious by the second time she pooped on the couch and stayed in it, but denial and avoidance can be very strong in some people.

This makes me so sad.
 

esm3

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The Nola article is behind a paywall but has more information.


In a Jan. 18 interview, the couple told detectives that their daughter was sound intellectually to the end. Autistic, she had developed “some degree of Asperger’s syndrome,” D’Aquilla said, citing reports.

The lifelong condition is part of a category called autism spectrum disorder. Symptoms include trouble with social skills and obsessive focus.

Fletcher attended Brownfields Baptist Academy in Baton Rouge through 9th grade before entering a home-school program. As a teen, she experienced severe social anxiety and met several times with a psychologist over three years. She saw a doctor years later, in 2010, while in her early 20’s, but never since, her parents said.

Her parents reported then that Fletcher had anchored herself in the living room and refused to leave. They brought her meals and set up a potty. Fletcher instead relieved herself into a towel or on the floor, afraid to leave the couch.

The Fletchers considered getting a commitment order to place their daughter in a medical facility, but she balked and it never happened
, D’Aquilla said, citing a police report. The couple reported that Fletcher hadn’t seen a doctor in the past decade because she’d never been sick.

“I don’t think they (did) anything after that,” D’Aquilla said. “I think if somebody would have seen her that something would have been done.”

D’Aquilla said the couple was “adamant” that Lacey Fletcher was “of sound mind to make her own type of decisions.” The couple said Fletcher never complained of her sores and that Sheila Fletcher would routinely clean them.

Last fall, Fletcher began eating less, they told detectives. She ate half a sandwich and Cheetos on Jan. 2. Sheila Fletcher told detectives she last saw her daughter alive at 10 p.m. that night and awoke in a chair in the living room to find her dead.




A Slaughter woman died sunken into a couch. Her parents could soon face murder charges.
 
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