COLUMBIA, S.C. — After hearing a woman’s screams inside a large metal container, investigators sawed and pried open the bin, rescuing the woman who had been chained inside for about two months by a serial killer, according to new videos released by prosecutors.
In the rescue video, once the container was opened after the 10-minute operation, officers walked in carefully with their hands on their guns and found a clothed Kala Brown, sitting on the floor with a chain around her neck stretching to the wall.
CBS affiliate WSPA-TV is expected to exclusively report next week on the case files surrounding Kohlhepp.
“Do you know where your buddy is?” an officer said.
“Charlie? He shot him,” she said quietly.
“Todd Kohlhepp shot Charlie Carver three times in the chest, wrapped him in a blue tarp, put him in the bucket of the tractor, locked me down here. I’ve never seen him again. He says he’s dead and buried. He says there are several bodies dead and buried out here,” she said.
Investigators found three bodies on the rural Spartanburg County property. They had gone to the land on Nov. 3 to look for Brown and her boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles Carver. The couple had been missing for two months, and Brown’s cellphone indicated she might have been in the area when she vanished.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright says deputies heard the 30-year-old woman banging on the walls of the container as they served a search warrant in 2016.
“It was pretty emotional, to say the least,” Wright told reporters at the time. “When she was found, she was chained like a dog — she had a chain around her neck. It’s only by God’s grace we found that little girl alive.”
The woman and her boyfriend were last heard from in late August 2016, WSPA reports. The missing case gained national attention after suspicious posts appeared on Carver’s Facebook page that his family suspected were posted by someone else. The page was later taken down.
Authorities say on the way to the hospital, Brown told them about how Kohlhepp confessed to killing a married couple before she was captured, and about killing four people at a Spartanburg County motorcycle shop — murders that were unsolved for 13 years.
Kohlhepp bragged in one video about wearing gloves when loading his gun to assure no fingerprints were on the casings. He also told authorities he pulled the gun apart and threw the components into different trash bins, putting the barrel into a bag of used kitty litter.
Even though it had been 13 years, Kohlhepp detailed each shot he fired at the Superbike shop, including final shots to the forehead of 30-year-old Scott Ponder; 52-year-old Beverly Guy; 30-year-old Brian Lucas; and 26-year-old Chris Sherbert.
“That was one big building. I cleared that building in under 30 seconds,” Kohlhepp said. “I’m sorry, but you guys would have been proud.”
The investigators asked if anyone begged for their lives or said anything to him.
“I don’t remember any of that. I will tell you that once I engaged, I was engaged. It was almost like a video game. It’s not a game — you’ve been there, sir, you know what I am talking about,” Kohlhepp said.
Kohlhepp killed Coxie immediately and tried to keep McCraw-Coxie locked away, but he said he killed her after several days because she tried to burn the container after he gave her cigarettes.
“She wanted Little Caesar’s pizza. I hate that (expletive). It gives me heartburn,” Kohlhepp said. “Dr. Pepper, cinnamon rolls and freaking Newports. If you go down to that building, you’ll find an unused package of Newports that I bought for her.”
Kohlhepp denied killing anyone else. He did say he shot a man in Arizona when he was 14, but could give few details. Authorities have not charged him with any additional crimes in other states.
Kohlhepp moved to South Carolina in 2001 after 14 years in prison for a kidnapping in Arizona. Authorities there said the then 15-year-old Kohlhepp forced a 14-year-old neighbor back to his home at gunpoint, tied her up and raped her.