Missing Woman Found Chained in Shipping Crate Allegedly Saw Captor Shoot Boyfriend
Kala Brown told investigators that Todd Christopher Kohlhepp, her accused captor, allegedly shot her boyfriend
At least one dead body has been discovered on the approximately 100-acre property in Woodruff, South Carolina, where missing Kala Brown was found chained alive in a metal shipping container on Thursday, PEOPLE confirms.
Brown and her boyfriend, Charlie Carver, vanished months ago — on the same day in August — but he has not been found. Prosecutors say Brown allegedly witnessed her accused captor, Todd Christopher Kohlhepp, shoot the 32-year-old Carver after her abduction.
Cadaver dogs and others have been combing the property where Brown was found, leading to Friday’s discovery of a body (whose identity has not been released). Authorities have said there could be more human remains and fear Kohlhepp may be a serial killer, according to USA Today.
As a backdrop to the investigation’s continued revelations, court documents reportedly detail Kohlhepp’s psychological problems and long history with the justice system — including a previous guilty plea for kidnapping.
While many things remain unknown, Kohlhepp’s arrest puts an end to at least some questions surrounding Brown and Carver’s disappearance on Aug. 31. They were last seen leaving a friend’s home in Anderson, South Carolina, according to the Find Kala and Charlie Facebook page. Mysterious Facebook posts later appeared on Carver’s account.
Brown’s cell phone pinged on the Woodruff property after she went missing. It went dead two days later, police say.
While she has been treated at a nearby hospital since her release from captivity, Carver — or his body — is still missing.
More than two dozen investigators and examiners have been on the scene in Woodruff since Thursday. Authorities have obtained search warrants for the property as well as several social media accounts that they believe are affiliated with Kohlhepp, a spokesperson for the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office tells PEOPLE.
Spartanburg Sheriff Chuck Wright told reporters that if cadaver dogs are unsuccessful in finding the remains, authorities could resort to using ground penetrating radar.
“There’s still a long way to go,” Wright said. “We are looking for answers.”
Boyfriend’s Family: ‘We Ask for Some Time to Ourselves’
In a statement to PEOPLE on Friday, Carver’s family said, “[We] would like to begin by saying how wonderful it is Kala has been found and that she is receiving care and is back with family and friends. The outpouring of concern and affection from the community has been overwhelming, and we are very thankful.
“At this time, we know no more than what has been reported within the media or statements made by law enforcement. We ask that you continue to pray for Kala’s healing and for [Charlie]’s safe return as well.
“In the meantime, we ask for some time to ourselves as we process events as they unfold. Thank you for your understanding and expect updates as they become available.”
• Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.
Kidnapping Suspect Described as ‘Emotionally Dangerous’: Report
At a Thursday news conference, Wright said Kohlhepp, 45, has been charged with one count of kidnapping in connection with the case.
Just weeks before she disappeared, Brown reportedly started working for Kohlhepp, cleaning houses for him.
He is a registered sex offender and reportedly the owner of the property on which the container was found, but he does not live there. He is a real estate agent, according to USA Today.
Kohlhepp appeared in court Friday on his kidnapping charge, where he was ordered held without bond. It’s there that prosecutors described how Brown said she allegedly witnessed her boyfriend’s shooting.
It was not immediately clear if Kohlhepp has entered a plea or retained an attorney.
Kohlhepp previously pleaded guilty to kidnapping, according to TV station FOX Carolina — when, as a 15-year-old in 1986, he was accused of raping a teenage girl and pointing a gun at her head.
Court records from that case that were obtained by the station paint Kohlhepp as a deeply troubled child and teenager who received counseling for years beginning at 8 or 9.
His father said, according to one document cited by FOX Carolina, “The only emotion Todd seems capable of showing is anger” — and a judge called him “behaviorally and emotionally dangerous.”
According to the station, the documents also detail incidents of violence, when a young Kohlhepp allegedly shot a dog with an air gun, shredded his clothes and hit other kids. A psychiatrist described him as having “emotional difficulties and poor impulse control,” and Kohlhepp was admitted to the Georgia Mental Health Institute in 1980 — roughly at age 9.
As a judge who worked his 1986 kidnapping case wrote, according to FOX Carolina: “Twenty five months of the most intensive and expensive professional intervention, short of God’s, will provide no protection for the public and no rehabilitation of this juvenile by any services or facilities presently available to the Juvenile Court.”