Lacey Fletcher's emaciated body was discovered on January 3 in a hole in a sofa at her parents' home, partially nude, sitting upright, and partially submerged.
Heartbreaking photos of evidence revealed the full unbearable horror of Lacey Fletcher's personal hell before she died on her parents' couch in January, covered in her own excrement.
The 36-year-old autistic woman had not moved from the sofa in the tidy home of parents Clay and Sheila Fletcher, both 64, in the small town of Slaughter.Louisiana, Since 12 years.
News of her gruesome death hit headlines last week after East Feliciana community officials released a cratered photo of the couch she lay on that highlighted the severity of her secret ordeal.
The gruesome image was one of dozens shown to a newly sworn-in grand jury Monday in Clinton, Louisiana, during a closed-door session that the media were not allowed to attend.
Now DailyMail.com has gained official access to the unseen photos and can reveal the untold extent of Lacey's suffering, who disappeared from public view some 15 years ago.
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Sheila Fletcher and Clay Fletcher were arrested Monday and charged with second-degree murder in the death of their 36-year-old daughter Lacey.
A disturbing photo released by the coroner's office shows a close-up of the leather sofa that Lacey had fused onto. The coroner estimates that Lacey has been sitting in that hole in the couch for the past 12 years.
Additional photos seen by DailyMail.com, and not released to the public: Lacey, who was autistic, buried almost shoulder-deep in a sofa crater and suffocated in her own waste.
They show Lacey's emaciated and fecal body buried deep in a large hole in the sofa, the objects strewn around her, the living room where she died, as well as harrowing close-ups of the gruesome injuries inflicted that contributed to her death.
The gruesome images helped convince the 12-member panel to charge parents Sheila and Clay Fletcher, who were pillars of their community's church, with second-degree murder and face life in prison without parole.
The two were arrested shortly thereafter, but were released from prison within 36 hours on $300,000 bail each.
District Attorney Sam D'Aquilla, who is charged with murder and who will charge Fletcher in court, shared the footage with DailyMail.com at his office near Clinton Courthouse.
However, I would not approve them for publication. Almost all of them could not be published due to their terrifying graphic content.
In them, Lacey appears to be buried almost shoulder-deep in the wide, deep hole in the sofa that her bony body has worn over the years, rubbing against the upholstery.
She is slumped on her left side, her right arm across the gaunt upper half of her body near her neck.
She is nude except for a small, patterned blue T-shirt that rides up over her chest and does not cover her breasts.
His eyes are wide open and staring.
Its mouth is also open, showing what appears to be a full set of front teeth.
Her legs are raised and crossed under her, ironic enough to make people feel comfortable. But in Lacey's case, it was an attitude to survive.
Former classmates said Lacey began isolating in her teens when her autism accelerated and she was home-schooled after ninth grade.
Lacey attended the former Brownsville Baptist Academy in Louisiana, where she (above left) appeared on the school's volleyball team, as seen in images provided exclusively to DailyMail.com
A photo of the two-story house on Tom Drive in Slaughter where Lacey lived with her parents.
His face is covered in large, angry red dots. The droppings are scattered over almost the entire body of her. It's matted in her hair. It's even in your ears.
The brown leather couch that served as his prison sits against a wall about 18 inches away.
Surprisingly, on the right side of the sofa is a gray chest of drawers and a neat stack of clothes.
And in front, just a few feet away, is a low, messy black table.
It's filled with bottles of lotion, powder, a packet of wipes, a nasal spray, a box with a lid that had a child's photo on it, and other items that make it seem like the Fletchers only had the means to treat their sick, clean son. .
There are two DVD cases stacked neatly between the sofa and the table. It is not possible to make out the titles, but some looked childish on the covers.
Deeply saddened photos of Lacey, later captured on a doctor's steel table for forensic examination, reveal the extent of her harrowing and inexplicable experience.
She weighed just 96 pounds when she was found dead in the early morning of January 3.
Close-ups show that the meat on her buttocks appears to have been literally worn away or eaten away by the 12 years she hasn't moved from the couch.
There are large raw yellow areas where the skin has gone. Other areas of the back and buttocks are so blackened that it is impossible for a layman to discern any shape or figure.
Neighbors revealed that Lacey (center) appeared as "a fun, normal kid" before becoming increasingly isolated from her neighborhood friends around the age of 14.
Sheila Fletcher, 64, was seen returning to the East Feliciana Parish Jail after being released Tuesday night to pick up her husband Wednesday morning after he posted $300,000 bail.
Clay Fletcher is also charged with second-degree murder in the death of the couple's 36-year-old autistic daughter, Lacey Ellen Fletcher.
Part of a video recorded by coroner Dr. Ewell Bickham was also seen by DailyMail.com. He was one of the first on the horror scene after a sheriff's deputy responded to a 911 call and documented the horrific spectacle.
He is breathing hard as he pans the camera to the space behind the sofa and the wall. On the floor, just behind Lacey's body, is a large wet stain that he mistakes for urine.
DA D'Aquilla said when revealing the horror to us: "You cannot say that he was not in pain."
dr. Bickham has revealed that Lacey died of "severe medical neglect resulting in chronic malnutrition, acute starvation, immobility, acute ulceration and osteomyelitis, a bone infection that eventually led to sepsis."
Lacey suffers from social anxiety and severe autism, he added. The last time she saw a doctor was when she was 16 years old.
D'Aquilla believes the couple will plead not guilty to second-degree murder, and his legal team will fight to have the charges reduced to at least manslaughter, which carries a prison sentence of zero to 40 years.
But he is determined to fight that movement. However, if it is a reduced charge, he told DailyMail.com: "The Fletchers exposed Lacey to this for 20 years. You have to serve at least that long.
The prosecutor also offered an intriguing thought about the fact that Lacey was hidden from the world for about 15 years.
"I'm surprised Lacey hasn't been seen for so long, which discouraged Fletcher from just taking her body out at night and burying it in his backyard," he said. "No one would have known."
He told DailyMail.com the couple's first indictment is expected to take place within two months and the trial could start as early as October.
Coroner Bickham told DailyMail.com that the footage shown to the jury was so gruesome and disturbing that doctors were on call for the 12 panel members.
Clay Fletcher, pictured with Sheila in an undated photo, is an officer with the Baton Rouge Civil War Roundtable, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "promote appreciation for the sacrifices everyone made during the war." Civil".
An undated photo of Clay, 65, and Sheila, 64, Fletcher, standing in front of their Christmas tree.
He added that the photos left those present in the courtroom speechless.
“When I presented the case and showed the footage and gave the timeline, the expressions of the grand jury were completely shocked,” he said. "As if the clock on the wall had never moved again.
There was total silence. Some jurors gasped in horror. Some stared at him in disbelief.
Bickham also told DailyMail.com that the case was very difficult for him personally, describing Monday's grand jury trial as a "long and emotional day".
He added: "Seeing those photos again and reliving that traumatic experience was really hard."
Speaking in court after the grand jury's decision, the coroner revealed that Lacey had been on the couch for at least 12 years.
“Based on the evidence, at least 12 years,” he said. It could be before. At least 12 years. A terribly long time.
Sheila Fletcher was released from the East Feliciana Parish jail Tuesday night, just over 24 hours after her arrest. But her husband Clay stayed behind bars one more night because her bail couldn't be arranged in time.
Sheila, 64, was released from jail Tuesday night after posting $300,000 bail, just over 24 hours after her arrest.
The mother, who faces murder charges in the death of her autistic daughter Lacey, was photographed leaving the East Feliciana Parish jail.
The bespectacled mother, pictured in exclusive DailyMail.com photos, stared resolutely ahead and refused to answer our questions as she departed with a hastily arranged bail bondsman.
He had changed from his orange prison jumpsuit and emerged at 10:30 p.m. local time wearing a blue shirt with white spots and blue pants. Her short blonde hair appeared messy.
He declined to say if he felt any remorse for Lacey or explain how his daughter spent 12 years rotting on a couch.
Husband Clay was released at 10:25 a.m. Wednesday after his $300,000 bond was settled following the previous night's delay.
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Sheila was seen returning to the prison with the same servant around 10 a.m. to pick up her husband. She wore a burgundy top, blue pants, white sneakers, and carried a large gold-toned bag.
She showed up with Clay after he had removed his orange jumpsuit and completed the necessary paperwork for him to be released.
The black-robed husband also looked ahead as he briskly walked towards the van parked near the main gate of the prison.
Neither responded to the same questions DailyMail.com posed to Sheila the night before.