Billy Mertz (Source: Carroll Co. Detention Center)
Robin Mertz (Source: Carroll Co. Detention Center)
Trooper Brad Arterburn
The Mertz home.
CARROLLTON, KY (WAVE) - A Carroll County couple was arrested Wednesday on charges of neglecting their disabled daughter.
Kentucky State Police investigators said Billy Ray Mertz, 46, the victim's father, and Robin Mertz, 34, her stepmother, kept their daughter in an upstairs bathroom for weeks at a time.
Investigators said the victim, a 23-year-old who has Down Syndrome, was also kept in a basement bedroom that was barricaded shut with boards to keep the door from opening.
Troopers said the girl was deprived of food while she was locked in the rooms. She weighed 189 pounds when she first went to live with the Mertz family in April 2009, and just 86 pounds when troopers removed her Aug. 20, investigators said.
According to the court clerk, during their arraignment Thursday morning both pled not guilty to a charge of neglecting and abusing an adult. A judge set bond at $25,000 cash for Billy Mertz and $25,000 surety bond for Robin Mertz.
The couple, who do have other children they were caring for, was ordered not to make contact with the other kids.
Trooper Brad Arterburn of the KSP Campbellsburg post said the victim is currently in foster care with Adult Protective Services and is doing surprisingly well.
"Some people didn't know she lived there. Others, when they went to go visit, were told she was asleep and weren't allowed to see her," Arterburn said. "If you never see those rooms, it would be hard to know something was going on."
Kentucky's Adult Protection Services unit didn't provide answers to a WAVE 3 News inquiry about policies and procedures for making welfare checks on homes.
Billy and Robin Mertz are being held at the Carroll County Detention Center. The investigation is ongoing.
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