WOODRUFF, SC (WSPA) – Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright says authorities will reopen all of the county’s missing person cases after investigators found a body in a shallow grave on the property where a woman was found chained up in a storage container Thursday.
The man accused of holding the woman captive, chained to the inside of a shipping container unit for 2 months, has been charged with kidnapping.
Todd Kohlhepp appeared for a bond hearing Friday afternoon. Prosecutor Barry Barnette indicated more charges are coming.
Sheriff Chuck Wright says they found Kala Brown, chained up like a dog with a chain around her neck in a 30×15 metal container for two months.
Brown and her boyfriend Charles Carver have been missing from Anderson Co. since August 31.
Barnette said the victim saw the suspect shoot and kill her boyfriend. The prosecutor said: “She told us this individual did kill him in her presence.”
She told investigators she was being fed while held captive.
The hospital operator says Kala Brown has been released from the hospital, but a family friend said she is still in the hospital.
The friend says they are letting Kala leave to get lunch, but she is still there.
“POSSIBLE SERIAL KILLER”
Sheriff Wright says they may be dealing with a possible serial killer.
Brown told the sheriff there could be four bodies on the property.
Sheriff Wright said Friday morning that cadaver dogs alerted to some places on the property, but it’s unclear what they may find until the excavation process begins.
Sheriff Wright estimates that deputies have searched a little more than a quarter of the 95 acres where she was found.
Wright told reporters Friday that his department plans to go back over the 30 to 40 percent of the property again now that they have the proper equipment, and he said investigators will keep searching until they have covered the entire piece of land.
Referring to the body that was found earlier Friday, Wright said his “heart breaks for the families of whoever this person belonged to.”
Coroner Rusty Clevenger says he has no timetable for identifying the body, but that he’ll use the “quickest scientific way.”
HOW DID THEY FIND HER?
Deputies heard her banging on the container as they were serving a search warrant.
Anderson Police Chief Jim Stewart said they were pinging Brown’s phone 2 days after she was reported missing.
He says it pinged on the property where Brown was found. The phone went dead after two days.
Two weeks before they were able to get a search warrant for the property the sheriff’s office flew over the property and saw it was extensive and need to get on the ground.
Anderson Police say from early on they had no indication there was foul play, even with the cell phone pings.
Kala’s friends say she worked with her alleged kidnapper cleaning houses.
Her family has set up a GoFundMe account here.
MAN IN CUSTODY
Todd Kohlhepp, 45, was on the property when they served the search warrant.
He is listed as property owner of the land where deputies are searching.
He is also listed as a sex offender on the SC registry for a 10/16/1987 conviction in Arizona for kidnapping. Court documents show Todd Kohlhepp was 15 when he was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a then 14-year-old girl in the Phoenix area.
Matching online prison records from Arizona show that Kohlhepp served about 14 years for the felony kidnapping and was released in 2001.
The records don’t elaborate on the crime, but do list some violations while in prison. The records say he destroyed property and fought on a number of occasions while incarcerated in 1991 and 1988.
The property is listed as 95.57 acres S SIDE WOFFORD ROAD N OF SC 101 PB -Qualified Agricultural Farm Vacant.
Kohlhepp’s home address is listed as 213 Windsong Way in Moore, SC.
Deputies searched Kohlhepp’s property on Wofford Road around 8:30 a.m. Thursday.
There were officers, K-9’s, digging equipment and a helicopter on the scene.
MAN STILL MISSING
Brown’s boyfriend, Charles David Carver, 32, is still missing.
Investigators say they have found Carver’s car on the property.
Friends and family say Charlie’s Facebook had weird posts on it.
Before the page was deleted, cryptic messages were posted and sent from someone operating the site.
Their families believe it was hacked by another person.
“That’s not him saying something like that,” Bobbie Newsom, Kala’s mom said back when the posts began. She believed her daughter is in danger, but hoped for the best. “I love you baby girl. We are worried about you. this is unlike you. If you see this, just call somebody. anybody.”
Anderson Police say they watched the posts, but haven’t directly connected them to their disappearance.
The Associated Press contributed to this report