‘Stuck on You:’ Arrests Prevented After Centralia Women Glue Fingers in Pipe as ‘Couples Therapy’

By Natalie Johnson / njohnson@chronline.com

A couples therapy scheme gone very wrong is reportedly to blame in the case of two Centralia women glued together by the pinky finger using an unknown epoxy and a copper pipe, according to the Centralia Police Department.

“They haven’t been able to feel their fingers for three days.” said Det. Patty Finch, of the Centralia Police Department.

According to the Centralia Police Department, Rachel A. Deckert, 27, attempted to turn herself in at 3:54 p.m. Monday at the Lewis County Jail on an outstanding misdemeanor warrant for a driving under the influence case. She was served with the warrant but was turned away from the jail due to her literal attachment to her girlfriend.

The next day, Deckert tried again, and again avoided arrest.

“She showed up at court today with her warrant,” Finch said Tuesday.

She was still attached to her girlfriend.

While Deckert stuck to her story about being trapped in the pipe, a family member who asked not to be named told The Chronicle said she doubted the claim of “couples therapy” was anything more than a ruse to avoid jail time. The family member said she knew for a fact that Deckert was not glued to the other woman the previous Sunday, and said she believed the women took off the pipe soon after the court hearing.

“She just didn’t want to go to jail,” the family member said. “This is her fifth warrant on this case.”

When Centralia Municipal Court staff learned of Deckert’s predicament, they alerted the Centralia Police Department next door.

Finch responded and called the Riverside Fire Authority for help.

“They came out and said, ‘Yeah, we can’t remove this,’” she said.

The women each had a pinky finger in either end of a copper plumbing elbow, Finch said, and were secured in place with glue.

While being evaluated by puzzled police and medics, the women reported they had been attached at the pinky for about a week as part of a couples therapy devised by their counselor, who Finch noted is not a doctor.

The women reportedly told police they knew little about the counselor other than his name and the fact that he attends a Buddhist temple in Tacoma.

According to Finch’s police report on the incident, the women believed the counselor had a substance that could get them unstuck, but were not able to contact him because he was on vacation.

“Their guidance counselor glued them into this thing so they could determine whether they could go through life attached to each other by the finger, I don’t know,” she said.

Efforts to unstick the women were not successful.

“There was no physical rescue operation that took place,” said Captain Scott Weinert, of the RFA. “What complicated the matter was there was some kind of epoxy.”

Deckert was released, but the warrant wasn’t quashed. Judge James Buzzard “strongly suggested” the women go to the hospital, according to Finch’s report.

Finch said the prognosis for the women’s pinkies doesn’t look good, but she didn’t comment on the future of their relationship.

“Medics said it will most likely require surgery if not amputation,” she said.

The women were advised to seek medical attention and refused a ride to the hospital. They left the court out of police custody, still side by side.