Woman pried from toilet after 2 years

WICHITA, Ks. (AP) -- A 35-year-old woman who sat on her boyfriend's toilet for so long that her body was stuck to the seat by the time he called police had a phobia about leaving the bathroom, her boyfriend said.

"I didn't do this to her. It was her choice. She is an adult, she made her own decision. It was my fault I should have gotten help for her sooner -- I admit that. But after a while, you kind of get used to it," her boyfriend, Kory McFarren, said in a phone interview from their Ness City home.

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 she had a phobia about leaving the bathroom because of beatings she received in her childhood.

"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 in there and had an otherwise normal relationship - except it all happened in the bathroom.

The boyfriend called police on Feb. 27 to report that "there was something wrong with his girlfriend," Whipple said.

McFarren said he finally called police 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 that day 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 her 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 was not even aware that she had no feeling in her legs when emergency responders arrived, McFarren said, adding that she has an infection in her legs that has damaged her nerves. He said there is a possibility she may wind up in a wheelchair.

McFarren said he will still be there to take care of her when she comes home.

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."

McFarren said his neighbors do not realize that there are a lot of people with phobias doing similar things. He said false rumors have been circulating around town that he was somehow keeping her on the toilet against her will.

"Tell people," he said, "to leave me the hell alone."

Posted by KO

The Associated Press and CBS News contributed to this report.