Sheriff on Discovering Missing Woman 'Chained like a Dog:' 'This is the Stuff You See in the Movies'
The South Carolina sheriff investigating the case of a missing woman rescued Thursday after allegedly being chained by her neck inside a metal storage container for two months described her survival as “a miracle.”
“It’s only by God’s grace that she’s alive,” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told reporters at a Thursday press conference. “I mean, there’s no reason for her to be locked in that cage like a dog for two months.”
Kala Brown, 30, and her boyfriend, Charlie Carver, 32 went missing more than two months ago. The couple lived together in Anderson and were last seen leaving a friend’s home in Anderson, according to the Find Kala and Charlie Facebook page.
Todd Christopher Kohlhepp, 45, a registered sex offender and reportedly the owner of the approximately 100-acre property in Woodruff on which the container was found, has been arrested charged with one count of kidnapping in connection with the case, Wright said at the press conference.
Wright said Brown told police she was fed during her alleged captivity.
Acting on information, Wright said officers stormed Kohlhepp’s land Thursday morning. Not long after, they heard loud banging noises coming from a metal storage container. Officers cut through the padlock and chains securing the container, which was completely enclosed, Wright said.
He said Brown had been chained “like a dog.”
“It was pretty horrible,” Wright said, describing the container as “30 feet by 15 feet and about 10 feet high. “She was obviously traumatized.”
Police recovered several weapons and “lots of ammo” from ‘s property, Wright alleged. “This is tragic that this person was being treated like that,” he said. “It was pretty emotional when she was found.”
Police Fear ‘Serial Killer on Our Hands’
Thus far, police have found no sign of Carver on Kohlhepp’s property, Wright said. Wright said additional charges were probable, depending on what evidence is recovered from Kohlhepp’s property, which is currently being searched by Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office, a spokesperson tells PEOPLE.
“We are still looking for Charles David Carver,” Wright told reporters, noting that Kala told police soon after being rescued that “there might even be four people on this piece of property deceased.”
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Wright said the investigation is in its early stages that authorities think Kohlhepp could be connected to other crimes, but “I can’t tell you about any of that at this point. We are trying to make sure we don’t have a serial killer on our hands.”
Wright said that Kohlhepp is not cooperating with the investigation, and asked for a lawyer as he was being detained.
Kohlhepp is expected to appear in court on Friday, according to NBC. It was not immediately clear if he has retained an attorney.
Wright told reporters that detectives are searching the metal container for signs other victims who may have been held captive inside.
Brown was taken to a medical facility after being found, Wright said.
A week into the couple’s disappearance, messages appeared on Carver’s Facebook page along with an updated profile photo. However, worried friends and family members said Carver was not very active on the social media site, according to the Find Kara and Charlie Facebook page.
The page says the posts are “uncharacteristic of ones typically made by Charlie.”
During a press conference Thursday afternoon, Wright said Brown and Kohlhepp, “were acquainted with one another.”
A friend of Brown’s, Leah Miller, told USA Today that Brown began working for Kohlhepp, cleaning houses for him, weeks before she disappeared.