More troubling details have emerged about the final moments of the woman found “fused with a couch” after her parents confessed to manslaughter.

The world was shocked by the tragic passing of Lacey Fletcher at the age of 36 in January 2022. Her heartbreaking case captured global attention as she was found severely undernourished and seemingly unable to leave a couch, a circumstance that had persisted for an extended period of time.

Lacey Fletcher, aged 36 and reportedly diagnosed with autism, weighed just 100 pounds (45kg) when she passed away. Her parents claimed she refused to eat when they tried to feed her, which led to her being unable to leave the couch, ultimately resulting in her death.

However, the coroner who investigated her death revealed that he found no accessible food near Lacey. Sadly, he discovered evidence indicating that she had resorted to trying to consume the foam from the couch cushions in a desperate attempt to survive.

Lacey Fletcher’s horrifying death still has an effect on the coroner that examined her. Credit: Handout

Dr. Ewing Bickham swiftly arrived at the distressing scene after receiving a call from Clay and Sheila Fletcher, who dialed 911 to report that their daughter Lacey was unresponsive. As the coroner, Dr. Bickham promptly responded to the urgent situation.

During an interview with NewsNation, Dr. Ewing Bickham described the incident as the most harrowing death he had ever encountered throughout his entire career. He shared that the emotional toll was profound, recalling how he struggled to hold back tears and found himself unable to eat for a week after examining Lacey. Reflecting on the experience, he admitted, “It still haunts me to this day.”

Lacey was found in a state of severe emaciation, with pressure sores on her body, some of which were so severe that her bones were exposed. Furthermore, her body was infested with maggots, suggesting that she had been left in her own waste for an extended period before her death.

When asked about the presence of any accessible food for Lacey, who was immobilized on the couch due to the severe consequences of prolonged neglect on her health, Dr. Bickham disclosed that the only item he observed nearby was a small packet of candies.

“I only spotted a small bag of hard candy, and that’s all there was. That’s likely the only sustenance she had,” he disclosed.

Sadly, he believes that Lacey resorted to consuming the foam from the cushions around her to endure and alleviate her hunger, stating, “I’ll spare you the graphic details, but she had yellow foam from the sofa and feces in her stomach. Draw your own conclusions from that.”

For the past 18 months, both of her parents, aged 66, faced arrest and indictment on second-degree murder charges. However, this week, they changed their plea from not guilty to guilty for lesser charges of manslaughter.

Lacey’s cause of death was determined to be sepsis arising from “extreme chronic neglect.”

Despite the tragic end to her life, Lacey seemed to have been a joyful young girl. Photographs from her earlier years depict her smiling and posing with her school volleyball team, of which she was a member before being homeschooled starting from the ninth grade.

Robert Blades, 61, a neighbor of the family, recalled that Lacey was “just a regular, fun-loving kid” before she disappeared from view 15 years ago. Her parents asserted that she had developed “anxiety” and sought help from psychologists, as reported by the Daily Mail.

While the attorneys representing the parents argued that they never intended for Lacey’s condition to deteriorate to such an extent and highlighted their struggles with her medical conditions, Dr. Bickham provided a grim account of the horrific conditions in which he found her.

He elaborated, stating: “Upon entering the house, there was a pervasive odor reminiscent of a sewer or septic tank, coupled with the unmistakable scent of death. It was a smell I had never encountered before in my life.”

“I’ve encountered decomposed bodies. I’ve dealt with various forms of death, degradation, and the like throughout my career, but I’ve never experienced anything like this,” he emphasized.

He added, “I’ve never encountered a homicide of this nature. Witnessing an individual, a human being, subjected to such torture and left to perish while still alive is something I’ve never seen before.”

“I’ve never witnessed anything like it in my life. I’ve encountered decomposed bodies of individuals who drowned and were discovered a week later,” he remarked.

“That’s one thing when bodies decompose over time. Lacey, however, did not decompose. She decayed within her own body, confined to that squalid environment, trapped within the confines of that couch,” he explained.

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