Charges Urged In Kansas Toilet Case

Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple speaks about the case of a Ness City, Kan., woman who sat in the bathroom of her boyfriend's home for long enough that her body was stuck to the toilet during an interview Thursday, March 13, 2008 in Ness City.
AP Photo/Lindsey Bauman
The sheriff is recommending charges in the case of a western Kansas woman who sat on her boyfriend's toilet for so long that her body became stuck to the seat.

Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said Thursday he asked the county attorney to file charges against Kory McFarren for mistreatment of a dependent adult. The county attorney will decide whether any charges are brought. The attorney has not returned phone calls seeking comment.

News about the case made Internet headlines around the world and left many of the town's roughly 1,500 people incredulous.

"The unfortunate thing is this truly is a case of two people, in my opinion, with diminished mental capacity," Whipple said.

McFarren did not answer his door Thursday, but later called The Associated Press and said he was done giving media interviews. He said he did nothing wrong.

"The only thing I am guilty of is I didn't get her help sooner," he said.

On Wednesday, McFarren said his girlfriend, Pam Babcock, 35, had a phobia about leaving the bathroom.

Whipple was the second law enforcement officer to respond to the mobile home where McFarren and Babcock were living. Whipple, who described Babcock as a "thin, petite woman," used a pry bar to take the seat off the toilet so the woman could be transported to the hospital where the seat was removed.

"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 the sheriff at that time that Babcock had not left the bathroom in two years, although McFarren now contends he's unsure how long she was in there. Whipple said Thursday 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.

McFarren said she moved around in the bathroom during that time, bathed and changed into clothes he brought her. He brought food and water to her. They had conversations and an otherwise normal relationship - except it all happened in the bathroom.

But the sheriff disputed that account: "She hadn't bathed for quite some time, I am safe in saying. She obviously was not keeping herself up."

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.

Doctors at the Wichita hospital where Babcock is hospitalized told the boyfriend an infection in her legs has damaged her nerves and may leave her in a wheelchair, he 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.

"And her reply would be, `Maybe tomorrow,"' Whipple said.