WOODRUFF, S.C. — A day after a body was found in a shallow grave on property owned by a local real-estate agent, investigators determined that the remains were the boyfriend of a woman found chained inside a metal storage container there.
The woman, Kala Brown, 30, of Anderson, S.C., had told investigators that she watched Todd Kohlhepp, 45, of Moore, S.C., shoot her boyfriend, Charles David Carver, 32, of Anderson. Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said Saturday night that he's working with an anthropologist to determine how long Carver had been buried.
"We certainly wanted a different outcome than this," Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said. He declined to go into detail about the ongoing investigation but said more information would be released later.
The cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the upper extremities, Clevenger said.
Earlier Saturday, Carver's mother held out hope that he, too, would be found alive.
“Until I see a body, I can’t give up,” Joanne Shiflet said. “For this to be over, I have to see him.”
Solicitor Bary Barnette of South Carolina's 7th Circuit Court said it is likely that Kohlhepp, who is in Spartanburg County Jail on a kidnapping charge and being held without bond, will face at least one murder charge. On Saturday afternoon for about an hour, authorities brought Kohlhepp to the 95-acre tract where Brown was found Thursday chained around her neck and ankles inside a shipping container.
It was not immediately known whether Kohlhepp was cooperating with investigators.
Law enforcement has equipment and vehicles near the back of the clearing on the property to continue the investigation. They fear they are dealing with the work of a serial killer.
Wright said they would continue the painstaking process of searching the property for as long as it necessary to find answers. A search of 30% to 40% of the site has been completed since Brown was discovered Thursday.
Officers have found found numerous weapons and ammunition, and Wright said Brown told them that as many as four bodies could be buried there.
In 1986, Kohlhepp was charged as an adult in the rape of a 14-year-old girl in Tempe, Ariz., when he was 15. As part of the plea bargain, Kohlhepp's record would reflect he pleaded guilty to kidnapping, and he was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Afterward, he was required to register as a sex offender.
One neighbor in a 1987 pre-sentencing report described him as “a devil on a chain.” Court records state he once threatened to kill his mother, used a hammer to destroy his newly remodeled bedroom, poured bleach into a goldfish bowl and locked a boy in a dog cage and rolled him around.
Several holes could be seen Friday night near the center of the property where an excavator had dug up the earth. A beige two-story garage stood nearby. Barnette said investigators found a bed with chains around it in the living space above the garage.
A gravel path connected the garage to a dark green shed and storage container where Brown was kept chained. The door to the container was open, and crime scene tape cordoned off the area.
In one clearing, officers could be seen collecting evidence from one of several shallow holes in the ground.