A man should be charged for allowing his girlfriend to sit on their toilet so long that her body became stuck to the seat, the sheriff said Thursday.
Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple was among authorities who discovered the woman last month living in the bathroom of a mobile home she shared with her boyfriend, Kory McFarren.
"The house was cluttered but not in shambles," he said. "The smell was overpowering — a terrible smell about the house, obviously coming from where she was at."
McFarren, 36, told police his girlfriend, Pam Babcock, 35, had a phobia about leaving the bathroom and may not have left the bathroom in two years, although he's unsure how long she was in there.
He said during that time, he brought her food, water, and clean clothes.
"The only thing I am guilty of is I didn't get her help sooner," he told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The sheriff said that judging by the woman's condition — she had open sores on which the toilet seat would stick — it appeared she likely sat on the toilet continually for at least a month.
"She would have to be sleeping on the toilet," the sheriff said.
Whipple asked the county attorney to charge McFarren for mistreatment of a dependent adult. The prosecutor did not return phone calls seeking comment.
"The unfortunate thing is this truly is a case of two people, in my opinion, with diminished mental capacity," Whipple said.
McFarren, who works at an antique store, said he has been taking care of Babcock for the 16 years they have lived together. He insisted that he tried to coax her out of the bathroom every day. The home has a second bathroom.
McFarren said he finally called police Feb. 27 after he became worried because Babcock was acting groggy, as if she didn't know what was going on around her.
What emergency responders found when they entered the bathroom has left many in the town of about 1,500 people buzzing and authorities incredulous.
Whipple said the seat was taken off the toilet so the woman could be transported to the hospital for treatment.
Doctors at the Wichita hospital told the boyfriend an infection in her legs has damaged her nerves and may leave her in a wheelchair, he said.