The mother of a South Carolina man whose dead body was found buried alongside his wife’s on a property belonging to a suspected serial killer is grieving his loss.
On Wednesday, Johnny Joe Coxie, 29, and wife Meagan Leigh McCraw Coxie, 25, of Spartanburg, were identified by authorities. On Saturday, Todd Kohlhepp, 45, allegedly said their names and pointed to their graves, after which the bodies were unearthed, Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said at a Wednesday press conference.
According to family friend Karyl Gaehring, Johnny’s mother, Cindy, is turning to her faith.
“She’s numb, very numb,” Gaehring says. “But she’s very stable at the same time. She feels like this was an answer.”
The news comes nearly a week after authorities discovered a living woman who had allegedly been bound and chained for two months inside a metal storage container on Kohlhepp’s 95-acre property in Woodruff, authorities have said.
The Coxies had been buried for 11-months, Clevenger said, adding that Meagan appeared to have died from a gunshot wound to the head while Johnny was shot in the torso. Their bodies were clothed, Clevenger said, adding that some parts of their remains were missing.
At Wednesday’s press conference, Lt. Kevin Bobo of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said the couple was reported missing by Meagan’s mother on Dec. 22, 2015.
Authorities believe Kohlhepp knew the couple but have not indicated how, citing an ongoing investigation.
Both victims had a history of panhandling on local roads to make money, Bobo said. They leave behind a one-and-a-half year-old son who is in the custody of family, says Bobo.
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Gaehring says Cindy came to the ministry nearly a year ago asking for prayers to help find her son.
“She said, ‘I don’t know where he is but I’m asking God to lead us to him. If he’s alive and if he’s not, I still want to know,'” Gaehring says. “She really does feel like this has been answer because she could have [not had closure] for years like the other families.”
During police questioning, Kohlhepp allegedly confessed to the unsolved murders of four people at a motorcycle shop in 2003.
Kohlhepp has so far only been charged in the 2003 murders and has not entered a plea or retained an attorney. Bobo tells PEOPLE he believes more charges will follow soon.