By Edie Hall - The Hutchinson News - firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ness County Sheriff's office is considering charges in the case of a woman who had not left her boyfriend's bathroom in approximately two years.While the investigation is ongoing, Ness County Sheriff Bryan Whipple said his office is "possibly looking into" charges against the woman's boyfriend of mistreatment of a dependent adult.Whipple declined to give the woman's name or her boyfriend's name.In late February, the woman's boyfriend called the sheriff's office and alerted them that something was wrong with his girlfriend. When police arrived, they found the woman sitting on the toilet - a position from which they believe she had not moved for approximately two years. Her boyfriend had sustained her by bringing food and water.Whipple said the woman's muscles had atrophied and that medical personnel had to remove her from the toilet because she was bound to it by "natural means." Currently, the woman is being treated at a Wichita hospital. So far, she has not cooperated with police by granting an interview, and therefore some of the details - such as how she slept or why she went into the bathroom in the first place - are not yet clear. Whipple is hopeful that mental health workers can soon do an evaluation to establish her mental capabilities and her dependence on her boyfriend.Whipple said his office will not be able to determine whether the woman stayed in the bathroom of her own free will, as her boyfriend claims, until the mental evaluation is complete. "With her actions she has kind of supported his claims because when we found her she initially refused ambulance service," Whipple said. "The situation was serious enough that we called the ambulance anyway - but she didn't want to leave." Both the woman and her boyfriend are originally from Ness County, Whipple said, adding that the woman did have family in the area, but that she "didn't have much to do with them."