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Woman Missing Since August Found Alive, Chained ‘Like a Dog’ in a Container

A woman missing since August 31 was found alive Thursday, November 3, after deputies heard loud banging and screams coming from a padlocked metal crate on a rural, nearly 100-acre property in Woodruff, South Carolina.

Spartanburg County sheriffs deputies were searching the grounds on a separate tip when they discovered Kala Brown “chained like a dog,” Sheriff Chuck Wright told WYFF 4.

Kala Brown
Kala Brown was kept in a container with a chain around her neck for about two months.

The owner of the property, Todd Kohlhepp, a real estate agent and registered sex offender, was taken into custody and has been charged with kidnapping, the Associated Press reported. Brown’s friend Leah Miller told the Independent Mail that the victim worked for Kohlhepp, 45, cleaning houses before he showed them to potential buyers. 

At a press conference on Thursday, Sheriff Wright said that Brown had been held captive for two months in a claustrophobic 30-by-15 foot container. The 30-year-old had been fed on a regular basis, but Wright noted that she was “obviously traumatized.”

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Todd Kohlhepp
Todd Kohlhepp was arrested Thursday morning in connection with the Kala Brown investigation.

Brown’s live-in boyfriend, Charles Carver, who also disappeared on August 31, remains missing, but a vehicle believed to belong to him was found in a ravine on the grounds where she was held captive, CNN reported.

Per WYFF 4, authorities located “lots of weapons and ammunition” on the property, and Brown warned that there could be up to four buried bodies on the site. “We’re trying to make sure we don’t have a serial killer on our hands,” Wright told WYFF 4. “It very possibly could be what we have.” 

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Kohlhepp is a sex offender who was convicted of kidnapping in Arizona in 1987, when he was 16. He is scheduled for a 2 p.m. hearing Friday at Spartanburg County jail.

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