WOODRUFF, South Carolina — A woman who had been missing for two months was found alive and “chained up a like a dog” on a remote South Carolina property owned by a registered sex offender who cops are investigating as a possible serial killer.
The woman, Kala Brown, 30, who disappeared in August with her 32-year-old boyfriend, Charlie Carver, told investigators that she believed there were at least four bodies located on the property.
“This was divine intervention from God himself that we found this young lady alive,” said Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright. “We’re trying to make sure we don’t have a serial killer on our hands.”
Wright said Carver’s car was found hidden in a heavily wooded area on the property but so far investigators had found no sign of him. Cadaver dogs were brought in and had signaled the presence of possible human remains, Wright said.
Authorities discovered Brown on Thursday after an investigation led them to the 100-acre rural property belonging to Todd Kohlhepp, a real estate broker and landscape company owner who is also a registered sex offender.
Cops found Brown when she began banging on the 30-by-15 foot metal container where she was chained up. Wright said Brown was in relatively good shape given the circumstances in which was held.
“She looked good for someone who was chained up like a dog for two months,” he said.
Kohlhepp, 45, was charged with kidnapping. He is registered as a sex offender stemming from a 1987 kidnapping and sex crime in Arizona, records show. Police say they recovered a large amount of weapons and ammunition on the property.
Neighbors said Kohlhepp bought the property in Woodruff within the past two years, the State newspaper reported. They told the paper that Kohlhepp erected a chain-link fence around the property and posted no trespassing signs shortly after the purchase. They say he didn’t live there but said he wanted to build a house on the land.
The paper reported that Brown had begun working for Kohlhepp a few weeks before her disappearance cleaning homes he was looking to rent out.
Brown and Carver’s disappearance in late August had sent a chill through the community and perplexed investigators. The couple was last seen on Aug. 29 but hadn’t been heard from except for a text message one of them sent two days later.
When their parents went to check on them, they found their apartment unlocked and their pet dog without food or water, WYFF reported.
Even more puzzling were messages that appeared on Carver’s Facebook page a week later saying they were fine and had just left. His relatives said he rarely posted on Facebook and the messages were written in a way that was uncharacteristic of him.