WOODRUFF, S.C. — The coroner's office told Channel 9 Friday that authorities found a body in a shallow grave on the South Carolina property where investigators say a woman was found "chained up like a dog" inside a storage container.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told news outlets that deputies acting on a tip found Kala Brown, who had been reported missing along with her boyfriend in late August, after hearing her banging on the 30x15 foot container from the inside Thursday in the town of Woodruff, 80 miles northwest of the state capital of Columbia.
During a press conference Friday, Wright said they were told four bodies were on the 100-acre land owned by Todd Kohlhepp. The sheriff said authorities have searched about 30 percent of the property but will search the same area again because equipment is now on the scene. He also said a lot of ammo was found on the property but wouldn't say how much.
The coroner said the cause of death or sex of the body found on the property are not known at this time.
Wright said investigators are taking care of Brown after she was found with a chain around her neck. He said she told deputies she had been kept in the container for two months and had been fed regularly.
Wright also said that Brown looked good and was in good spirits considering her ordeal.
The sheriff said Kohlhepp, a registered sex offender, was arrested in connection with the incident. He is listed on the South Carolina sex offender registry.
Kohlhepp, 45, was jailed over a kidnapping charge from Arizona in 1987, South Carolina records indicate, and was required to register as a sex offender.
According to 7th Circuit solicitor Barry Barnette, Kohlhepp was convicted of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl when he was a teenager. He allegedly tied her up during the assault and, afterward, threatened to kill her and her family if she told anyone, ABC News reported.
He is currently being held on one charge of kidnapping as the investigation continues.
Spartanburg County deputies are still searching for the woman’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Charlie Carver. Deputies said Brown and Carver had been missing since Aug. 31.
Lt. Kevin Bobo said the victim told deputies her alleged captor was possibly a serial killer and said there were four bodies buried on the property where she was found.
Deputies said the only other victim they are searching for is Carver, and that they have found weapons on the property.
(Kala Brown and Charlie Carver)
The sheriff said they could be out there for days or even weeks collecting evidence and searching for Carver.
"We did find a vehicle that we think is the missing gentleman from Anderson City, Mr. Carver. We haven't found him yet," Wright said.
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A close friend of Brown’s said that Brown started working for Kohlhepp only weeks before she disappeared, claiming Brown would help clean his properties before he offered them for rent.
"I don't know what I would've done if somebody had tied me up like that,” said Phyllis Knight, who lives near the property. “I’d be praying every minute of my life asking God to save me. God had to be with her."
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