Woman missing for months discovered chained in storage container 'like a dog,' boyfriend not found
A South Carolina woman who vanished months ago along with her boyfriend was found "chained like a dog" in a metal storage container, where authorities said she was kept by a sex offender who they fear is a serial killer.
Kala Brown and Charlie Carver had last been seen leaving a friend's home August 30 in Anderson and were reported missing a day later after their concerned families had been unable to reach either of them by phone, according to the "Find Kala and Charlie" Facebook page.
Authorities found Brown's car in the parking lot of their apartment complex, where their apartment's door was unlocked and Brown's Pomeranian, Romeo, was left with no food or water, the page said.
Carver's car was missing.
There had been no activity on Brown's Facebook account, which was very usual for the 30-year-old woman, but several postings on Carver's page after they disappeared left loved ones convinced something sinister had happened to the couple.
"His profile picture was changed on September 6th and according to his family and friends, recent comments on the page are uncharacteristic of ones typically made by Charlie," the Facebook page dedicated to finding them wrote.
After more than two months missing, Brown was found restrained with a chain around her neck in a metal container when deputies heard her banging on the 30x15 structure, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told reporters on Thursday.
"It was pretty emotional, to say the least, when she was found, especially when she was chained like a dog," Wright said. "She had a chain around her neck."
Brown told investigators that she had been kept in the container for two months, but had been fed regularly, Wright said. She was taken to a local medical facility to be treated.
"It was only by God's grace that we found [her] alive," he continued.
Brown reportedly told officials that there may be four bodies on the property, where Wright said "plenty of weapons and ammo" were found and noted there is nearly 100 acres to search.
Investigators are looking into the possibility of a serial killer being connected to the case, Wright said.
Todd Kohlhepp, 45, was arrested on the property, will likely be charged with kidnapping and may face additional charges, Wright said.
He was taken into custody when authorities served the search warrant, Wright continued.
Kohlepp is a registered sex offender who was convicted of an October 16, 1987 kidnapping in Arizona, according to South Carolina's sex offender registry. He is listed as a Juvenile Tier III offender; tier III classificatiosn are considered the most serious, according to federal law.
Wright pointed to Kohlepp's prior conviction, saying more must be done when dealing with sex offenders.
"I think some of them need to be on the chain gang... instead of being out here about to do that kind of stuff," he said. "You've got somebody whose still doing those things, how much is enough? How much is enough before we decide that we're gonna get really stringent with our laws and go, 'You're not going to hurt anybody anymore'? When is enough?"
He is also a licensed real estate agent, who heads up TK&A Real Estate, online records show. On his business's website, Kohlepp notes he has multiple college degrees, is a former professional graphic designer and a licensed pilot.
Authorities believe Brown and Kohlepp were acquainted, but a possible connection is still being investigated, Wright said.
"I don't think it's random at all," he said.
He said that he believes Kohlepp may have been posting on Carver's Facebook, but that has not been officially confirmed.
"It's super possible that he was doing that to try to get people off his trail, but that's just a thought," Wright said.
Carver has not yet been found.