Suspect in South Carolina woman Kala Brown's capture has violent past
The man suspected of kidnapping a South Carolina woman found chained alive inside a storage container has a pattern of violent and destructive behavior, court documents show.
Todd Kohlhepp, 45, was charged Friday with kidnapping and faces a possible murder charge after a body was found buried in a shallow grave on his rural property near Spartanburg. The Spartanburg County sheriff, Chuck Wright, warned that the disturbing case may involve the "work of a serial killer."
Related: Kala Brown found, Charles Carver missing in South Carolina
Police on Thursday found Kala Brown on Kohlhepp's property after deputies heard loud banging coming from a metal container. They were investigating the area on a tip about a sex crime.
Brown told investigators that there were as many as four bodies buried on the property and said she witnessed her captor shoot and kill her boyfriend, Charlie Carver, who went missing with her in August, local prosecutor Barry Barnette said at a bond hearing Friday.
Meanwhile, Kohlhepp's past has come into question, and records obtained by NBC affiliate WYFF reveal a history of abduction and violent behavior.
More from NBC News: Freed Captive Told Police She Witnessed Captor Shoot Boyfriend
In 1986, Kohlhepp was 15 when he was sent to prison in Arizona on kidnapping charges after holding a handgun to the head of a 14-year-old girl. Police said he threatened to kill her, tied her up with rope and duct-taped her mouth, and forced her into his home before raping her.
Kohlhepp told the victim that if she mentioned the assault to anyone, he would kill her siblings, officials said.
The victim's parents said the attack had a "devastating effect on their entire family," according to the 1987 investigation report.
A psychological evaluation conducted shortly after the arrest stated Kohlhepp's mother feared her son. He reportedly threatened to kill her, was destructive and hostile, and could be manipulative and verbally abusive.
In a following evaluation at the local jail, a psychologist believed Kohlhepp suffered from borderline personality disorder and wrote that he "threatened suicide on one occasion and had experienced at least one hallucinatory episode."
Although his mother wrote a letter asking for leniency — "I realize that he has done wrong and my heart aches for the little girl, but it also aches for my son," she said — Kohlhepp was charged as an adult and sentenced to 15 years.
During his time behind bars, prison records show he had several disciplinary infractions, including disobeying orders, fighting and stealing. He was released from prison in November 2001.
Since then, Kohlhepp became a working real estate broker in Moore, South Carolina, and owns a real estate firm in Spartanburg County that employs multiple agents.
He was denied bond Friday and is expected to return to court for a January hearing.