Body found where woman discovered chained ‘like a dog’
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Investigators found a body Friday during a search of land in South Carolina where a missing woman was discovered “chained up like a dog” in a large storage container, and there may be more remains in the area, a prosecutor said.
The body has not been identified, but prosecutor Barry Barnette said the woman saw her captor shoot and kill her boyfriend.
Referring to the possibility of other victims, the sheriff said authorities were “trying to make sure that we don’t have a serial killer on our hands.”
Todd Christopher Kohlhepp, a 45-year-old registered sex offender with previous kidnapping conviction, appeared at a bond hearing Friday in Spartanburg on a kidnapping charge.
More charges would be filed, Barnette said in court.
The judge did not set bond and instead referred the matter to circuit court. The suspect did not appear to have an attorney, and the judge urged him to get one.
The missing woman was found Thursday inside a container measuring about 30 feet by 15 feet. Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said she told him the bodies of other women could be buried on the land owned by Kohlhepp.
The woman’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles Carver, also has been missing after the couple disappeared in late August.
Investigators began excavating the area after cadaver dogs signaled the possible presence of remains.
Acting on a tip, deputies found the woman after hearing her banging inside the container in Woodruff, 80 miles northwest of the state capital of Columbia, the sheriff said.
The woman, who had worked for Kohlhepp, had a chain around her neck, Wright said. She told deputies she had been kept in the container for two months and had been fed regularly.
Anderson Police Chief Jim Stewart said his department’s investigation into the couple’s disappearance led authorities to the property near Woodruff.