Update: A man whose girlfriend, authorities say, spent nearly two years in a bathroom in their house, sitting on the toilet so long that the seat adhered to her body, has been charged with mistreatment of a dependent adult.
Kory McFarren, 37, was charged Monday in Ness County District Court.
McFarren called the Ness County Sheriff's Office in late February to say something was wrong with his girlfriend. When authorities arrived at the home, they found Pam Babcock, 35, stuck to the toilet, which they think she had sat on for about a month.
McFarren told authorities that Babcock feared leaving the bathroom and may not have left it in two years, although said he was unsure how long she was in there. He said that he took her food and water daily, and that he repeatedly asked her to come out but that she usually replied "maybe tomorrow."
"The only thing I am guilty of is I didn't get her help sooner," McFarren told The Associated Press nearly a week ago.
Ness County Attorney Craig Crosswhite said the mistreatment charge most closely fit the situation.
"I looked at the statutes and spoke to the attorney general's office," he said. "This was a very unusual set of circumstances, and this is the law that most closely applied to the situation."
Authorities said Babcock sat on the toilet so long that open sores developed and caused her to become attached to the seat. Sheriff Bryan Whipple has said that he used a pry bar to remove the seat from the toilet, and that the woman was taken to the hospital with the seat still attached.
"She would have to be sleeping on the toilet," Whipple said.
Doctors at a Wichita, Kansas, hospital where Babcock was taken told McFarren that an infection in her legs had damaged her nerves and could leave her in a wheelchair. She was still at the hospital Wednesday night.
McFarren's first court appearance will be in April, Crosswhite said.
Previously: A 35-year-old woman who sat on her boyfriend's toilet for so long her body was stuck to the seat had a phobia about leaving the bathroom, the boyfriend said.
"She is an adult; she made her own decision," said her boyfriend, Kory McFarren. "I should have gotten help for her sooner; I admit that. But after a while, you kind of get used to it."
The case drew nationwide attention after Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said it appeared the Ness City woman's skin had grown around the seat in the two years she apparently was in the bathroom.
"We pried the toilet seat off with a pry bar and the seat went with her to the hospital," Whipple said. "The hospital removed it."
McFarren, 36, said he can't be certain how long Pam Babcock stayed in the bathroom because "time just went by so quick I can't pinpoint how long." He said beatings she received in her childhood caused her phobia.
"It just kind of happened one day; she went in and had been in there a little while, the next time it was a little longer. Then she got it in her head she was going to stay -- like it was a safe place for her," McFarren said.
But McFarren said she moved around in the bathroom during that time, bathed and changed into the clothes he brought her. He brought food and water to her. They had conversations and had an otherwise normal relationship -- except it all happened in the bathroom.
McFarren said he finally called police February 27 after he became worried because Babcock was acting groggy -- like she didn't know what was going on, except she was awake.
What emergency responders found when they went into bathroom has left residents of this small western Kansas town buzzing, and law enforcement officials incredulous.
Police found the clothed woman sitting on the toilet, her sweat pants down to mid-thigh. She was "somewhat disoriented," and her legs looked like they had atrophied, Whipple said.
"She was not glued. She was not tied. She was just physically stuck by her body," Whipple said. "It is hard to imagine. ... I still have a hard time imagining it myself."
She initially refused emergency medical services, but was finally convinced by responders and her boyfriend that she needed to be checked out at a hospital.
"She said that she didn't need any help, that she was OK and did not want to leave," he said.
Whipple said the county attorney will determine whether any charges should be filed against McFarren.
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.
"And her reply would be, `Maybe tomorrow,"' Whipple said. "According to him, she did not want to leave the bathroom."
She was reported in fair condition Wednesday at a hospital in Wichita, about 150 miles southeast of Ness City. Whipple said she has refused to cooperate with medical providers or law enforcement investigators.
Babcock has an infection in her legs that has damaged her nerves, and there is a possibility she may wind up in a wheelchair, McFarren said.
James Ellis, a neighbor, said he had known the woman since she was a child, but that he had not seen her for at least six years.
"I don't think anybody can make any sense out of it," Ellis said.
Babcock had a tough childhood after her mother died at a young age and apparently was usually kept inside the house as she grew up, he said.
"It really doesn't surprise me," Ellis said. "What surprises me is somebody wasn't called in a bit earlier."