Thirty-year-old Kala Brown, who went missing along with her boyfriend two months ago, was found on Thursday ‘chained up like a dog’ in a storage container in the US state of South Carolina.
The property from where she was rescued belongs to a registered sex offender, Todd Kohlhepp, 45, who was on the property when police arrived with a search warrant.
Investigators went to the property to follow a lead relating to the disappearance of Brown and her boyfriend, Charlie Carver, Spartanburg County sheriff Chuck Wright said.
Kohlhepp was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, the county sheriff said.
“I want to thank God for allowing us to find a missing person from Anderson city who was in a container chained up like a dog,” Wright said. “We found her alive and she’s being treated at a medical facility right now. It’s tragic that this person was being treated like that.”
Anderson, where Brown and Carver lived, is located about 60 miles south-east of Spartanburg County.
Wright said Brown and Kohlhepp knew each other, saying that her kidnapping was “not a random act.”
Brown told police that she had been held captive for two months in the padlocked storage box and that there might be up to four dead bodies on the property.
The sheriff said Carver remains missing. “We’re praying for the best outcome,” he said. He added that Kohlhepp would face kidnapping and other charges.
Wright said investigators were pursuing further leads based on an interview with Brown, who was “obviously traumatised.”
Searches continued through the evening on Thursday.
“We’re trying to make sure we don’t have a serial killer on our hands,” Wright said. It “very possibly could be what we have.”
Records show that Kohlhepp is a licensed real estate agent as well as a licensed pilot. In 1986, he was convicted and sentenced to prison for kidnapping and dangerous crimes against children.