Still, she reached out to the family of Charles David Carver, Kohlhepp's last known victim. She wanted to let his relatives, particularly his siblings and stepsiblings, know she understood a bit about the path they had just started walking.
Guy had lost her brother, Brian Lucas, and Kohlhepp stood accused in his death, too. The difference between her loss and the Carver family's loss is that she had dealt with her grief for nearly 13 years while waiting for a killer to be identified.
Carver's family had been missing him for two months, but held out hope he was OK. Their grief was raw.
Eventually, Guy's family and Carver's family connected. Quietly, slowly, and outside the view of cameras, they have formed a bond that transcends tragedy.
They and others victimized by Kohlhepp have spent the past year since his arrest supporting one another in a way only they could.
They now call themselves a family.
A year ago, Tom Lucas was a weary but determined father seeking answers about the death of his son, Brian.
More than a decade had come and gone with no one charged in the quadruple killing at Superbike Motorsports, the Chesnee shop where motorcycle enthusiast Brian Lucas, 29, had been the service manager. No one had answered for his death or the deaths of his co-workers, Chris Sherbert, Scott Ponder and Ponder's mother, Beverly Guy.
The four employees were fatally shot Nov. 6, 2003, three weeks before Thanksgiving.
As the years went by, Tom Lucas found a life of advocacy, being a voice for dozens of Upstate families who lived with unsolved crimes. He was standing with some of those families on Nov. 4, 2016, for one of their regular gatherings at a park in downtown Spartanburg, when a minister friend of his prayed.
"Oh God, oh God," the minister said. "The blood of the dead is crying out for justice."
In that moment, Tom Lucas felt something powerful, he said. Powerful enough to raise the hair on his arms and the back of his neck.
The next day, Tom Lucas and his wife Lorraine learned Kohlhepp had confessed to killing their son and the other Superbike employees.
"I was just numb," Lorraine Lucas said. "I couldn't believe it."
Shortly afterward, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright talked about the long-unsolved mystery as he addressed about a dozen reporters huddled in the darkness outside Kohlhepp's sprawling property near Woodruff.
"It's called the Superbike case," Wright said. "I'm happy to report to you, because my God answers prayers, we signed four warrants on Todd Kohlhepp today with a confession that he did this crime."
Kohlhepp, 46, lived a double life, fostering a career as a successful real estate agent in Upstate South Carolina as he hid a criminal past that dates back to his teen years in Arizona.
He is now serving seven consecutive life sentences. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to killing the four Superbike Motorsports workers, Spartanburg couple Johnny and Meagan Coxie and Anderson resident Charles David Carver. Carver and his girlfriend, Kala Brown, disappeared from their Anderson Crossing apartment in late August 2016.
Brown was found alive, chained by the neck in a metal storage container on Kohlhepp's property near Woodruff.
Through a spokeswoman, Brown has declined repeated requests for interviews from the Independent Mail and The Greenville News, citing her efforts to recover.
Charles David Carver's family had hoped for weeks they would hear from him. He hadn't been seen since an evening in late August 2016, when he left work at First Quality Enterprises, an Anderson tissue plant.
On Nov. 3, 2016, Joanne Shiflet, Carver's mother, got a call from his father, Chuck.
Chuck Carver told Shiflet that Brown had been found alive, but he couldn't tell her what had happened to the son they call David.
The Carver and Shiflet families eventually made their way to Kohlhepp's 95-acre property near Woodruff, where they set up camp near Wofford Road. They stood in a circle, held hands and prayed.
And they waited. They waited until hours stretched into days.
On Nov. 5, they learned that a body found on Kohlhepp's property had been identified as their 32-year-old son.
Shiflet remembers how desperately she wanted to be on that property, not just near it. She remembers the frustration she felt when officials told her it was too dangerous. She was told the property had pits and maybe bears, but never saw evidence of either.
In those early days, the families of the Superbike workers and of Charles David Carver didn't know what lay ahead.
Now, one year later, many of them have come to rely on each other as they navigate the unimaginable, said Carver's father.
"We're family bonded by an unfortunate circumstance," Chuck Carver said. "But we are family."
That family bond is the reason Lorraine Lucas showed up for court this month with Chuck Carver, even though no one required it.
They were there to see Dustan Lawson, who was indicted Oct. 10 on federal charges that he helped Kohlhepp obtain guns between 2012 and 2016.
Kohlhepp was accused of raping a 14-year-old girl and holding her at gunpoint in 1986 when he was 15 and lived in Arizona. He eventually pleaded guilty to kidnapping and was sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to court records. With the guilty plea, he couldn't pass background checks needed to buy a gun.
The Lawson indictment does not say whether any of the guns were used to kill Charles David Carver. And the time frame in the indictment begins nearly a decade after the death of Brian Lucas. Still, Lorraine Lucas was in court to support Carver's family as they saw Lawson for the first time.
"They're at a different stage of their grief than we are," Lucas said. "They are just getting started. At first, you have no idea what to think, what questions to ask. ... We have 13 years ahead of them, asking questions, building resources. We're here to help any way that we can."
Some of the families of Kohlhepp's victims see each other often, not just on court dates.
Terry Guy is the widower of Beverly Guy, the 52-year-old Superbike bookkeeper who was shot along with her son, Scott Ponder. Ponder was a 30-year-old father-to-be who saw his son only in an ultrasound before he died.
Terry Guy bonded with the Lucases over the years while they waited for answers in the Superbike case. He and Brian Lucas' sister, Katie, comforted each other and ultimately, love developed, he said. Terry and Katie Guy are now married and have a son, Tyler.
The Guys and some of the Carvers went to Clemson University's homecoming together this year. They've had lunches and cookouts and gone swimming. Some members of the families try to connect at least every couple of weeks, they said.
"We're tied together," Chuck Carver said. "They went through a similar situation. They have been a sounding board for us and we didn't have to worry about what we said."
Julie Carver, Charles David Carver's stepmother, can confide in the others that she wonders when, or if, Kohlhepp will send another letter from prison to the media. He made headlines in September when he sent a letter to the New York Post.
Terry Guy can talk freely about a nagging question: Were he and Kohlhepp ever in Costco at the same time?
As the case unfolded, Guy learned he and Kohlhepp both like that store. He wonders if there was a day he looked Kohlhepp in the eye at the store and didn't even know it.
Guy wants to talk with Kohlhepp, to pray with him.
In a recent interview with the Independent Mail, Guy said he has reached out to officials to see if he can get a meeting with Kohlhepp, but he doesn't know if it will happen.
Kohlhepp remains in protective custody, according to officials with the South Carolina Department of Corrections. They won't say why Kohlhepp is in protective custody or where he is being kept.
Bonded as they are by fate, there are times when members of this unlikely family have to step away and get some space.
Joel Riddle, the brother of Superbike worker Chris Sherbert, said he doesn't keep constant contact with the rest of the group. But he said all the families who suffered because of Kohlhepp "stuck together" when it came time to support the plea agreement in May that sent Kohlhepp to prison.
Many of the victims' family members attended his May 26 plea hearing in Spartanburg County.
The families were given peppermints and tissues before the hearing began. Some of the families brought their ministers to pray with them before facing Kohlhepp.
Cindy Coxie, a relative of Johnny Coxie and Meagan Coxie, told Kohlhepp at the hearing that the couple's young son hates him. Efforts to reach the Coxie family were unsuccessful.
After the hearing, tearstained families faced dozens of reporters, including some who had traveled across the world to watch the hearing.
Riddle said he knows some people believe Kohlhepp is not responsible for the Superbike killings, and that he confessed in an attempt to gain notoriety. Riddle said he spends no energy on that theory.
"We have closure," Riddle said. "A lot of keyboard warriors and social media posters think we don't. But we know we do."
Kohlhepp's victims' families often use social media to communicate among themselves. They especially use it to stay connected to Melissa Ponder, the widow of Scott Ponder who now lives in Arizona with Scotty, the son he never had a chance to hold.
Joanne Shiflet, Charles David Carver's mother, made a decision to distance herself from some of the social media communications when she felt she was getting too many notifications from other victims' families.
Even so, she knows those families understand better than most what she has grappled with during the past year.
"They've had the same meltdowns," Shiflet said. "The same screaming until you can't scream anymore. Uncontrollable crying. Even my brothers and nieces, they try to understand, but it's hard to understand unless you've been there."
Her husband, Jaye, said leaning on others who understand the difficult journey is something precious.
"When you go through something like this," he said, "you learn who you can trust."
Katie Carver, Charles David Carver's younger sister, has two chapters of a graphic novel she was working on with her brother before he died.
So much about their relationship seems unfinished.
It's been really hard," she said. "It's kind of like I'm missing half my personality."
Now, her brother lives in her memories.
She laughs when thinks about how, when they were both much younger, her brother told her that that the family made spaghetti sauce by draining her blood. The story sent her running away from their mother's kitchen.
Chuck Carver said he, his wife, Julie, the Shiflets and the rest of his son's family still have questions about his final days. The family said they feel as though they have a puzzle with its edges complete and its middle missing.
Carver wants a clear "timeline that makes sense" of every moment he can trace. He wants copies of every piece of paper connected to the investigation of his son's death, not just the documents that were part of the court file when Kohlhepp pleaded guilty.
Tom Lucas, who searched for answers about his son's death for years, understands the quest that Chuck Carver has undertaken. It is a quest that all the families have been on at one time or another, and that's part of what keeps them connected.
Lucas has a simple, declarative way of explaining it all.
"You're in this club you don't want to be in."
Information from: Anderson Independent-Mail, http://www.andersonsc.com
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