Back in August, 2016, Kala Brown and Charles Carver arrived to a 100-acre property in South Carolina for a cleaning job. Charles Carver never made it off the property, and Kala Brown spent more than two months in a metal shipping container, allegedly held captive by Todd Christopher Kohlhepp.
In November of 2016, detectives were searching the property of Kohlhepp when they heard banging coming from the inside of a shipping container. When they opened it, they found Brown chained “like a dog.” According to Brown, she saw Kohlhepp shoot Carver, killing him, and then he took her hostage, chaining and locking her inside of the crate.
Carver’s body was found on the property, and Kohlhepp is suspected of being involved with six more murders.
Brown described her captivity as “hard,” and she said she remained chained for the duration of it. She also says that he did let her walk around a bit, and he fed her one time each day. She was finally found when authorities were searching the property after she was reported missing. Her cell phone was pinging on the property, but it took about two weeks before they could get a search warrant.
Police reported that they had no indication that there was foul play when they began searching. The cargo container was located on the middle of the property next to a garage. After finding the body of Carver, the investigators brought in cadaver dogs to search the property. Additionally, ATV’s, backhoes, and even a helicopter circled the property. The cadaver dogs picked up some scents, and the excavation of the property, began. The investigation found two more bodies, that of Meagan McCraw-Coxie and Johnny Coxie, who had gone missing in 2015.
Since his arrest, Kohlhepp has admitted to killing seven people in total.
Public records show that Kohlhepp is both a licensed pilot and real estate agent. He does, however, also have a record. As a teen in Arizona, he was convicted of kidnapping and crimes against children, and he spent some time in prison for these crimes. He is also on the sex offender registry in South Carolina. This is due to a kidnapping in 1986, which coincides with the incident in Arizona. In total, Kohlhepp served 14 years in prison. According to sources, Kohlhepp kidnapped a girl, aged 14, took her to his home, bound her with duct tape and raped her. He was released in 2001.
As is the case with many serial killers, most people who knew Kohlhepp were shocked by these allegations. One real estate agent that worked with Kohlhepp said that she had known him for a decade, and they had met in college. They had even been study partners for a statistics course. She was in disbelief when she heard that he had admitted the murders.
She also said that most people in the area knew that he was a registered sex offender. However, he told people that it was due to exaggerated charges after he and a girl had gone joyriding and the girl’s father, who was a local official, became angry.
Kohlhepp also had a second home in the area, and neighbors describe his as “private” but “pleasant.” He was also described as “a likable guy.”
All in all, Kohlhepp was charged with a total of seven counts of murder and two counts of kidnapping. He was also charged with three counts of possessing a weapon while committing a violent crime. The relatives of other victims will reportedly file wrongful death lawsuits against Kohlhepp, and Brown has said that she will file a civil lawsuit. Kohlhepp is due in court on January 17th.
Oh, and Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, also known as the Milwaukee Cannibal, was an American serial killer and sex offender, who committed the rape, murder, and dismemberment of seventeen men and boys between 1978 and 1991. Apparently he was a likeable guy too.
Robert Siciliano personal security and identity theft expert and speaker is the author of 99 Things You Wish You Knew Before Your Identity Was Stolen. See him knock’em dead in this identity theft prevention video.