November 4, 2016 / 7:15 PM / 3 years ago

Body found on South Carolina property after kidnap victim rescued

(Reuters) - Authorities on Friday discovered a body on a South Carolina property where they were investigating claims by a woman who was found chained in a storage container there that there were four bodies buried on the site, authorities said on Friday.

At least one body was found shortly after noon on a 100-acre property in the town of Woodruff, northeast of Greenville, Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger said.

“In (the) beginning stages of investigation of one body,” Clevenger said by email. “No other information available I can release right now.”

Investigators with cadaver dogs began searching the property on Thursday after police found Kala Brown, 30, inside the locked container, Sheriff Chuck Wright of the Spartanburg County police department told a news conference on Friday morning.

Brown and her boyfriend, Charles Carver, went missing on Aug. 31. A tip related to the disappearance of the couple, who live in Anderson, about 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Greenville, led police to the Woodruff property.

Carver, 32, was still missing, and police were looking for him and evidence related to the kidnapping, Wright said.

The identity of the body discovered on Friday has not been determined, prosecutor Barry Barnette said on Friday at a hearing for the suspect in Brown’s kidnapping.

Barnette said that Brown witnessed the suspect, Todd Kohlepp, shoot Carver, according to a video broadcast of the hearing.

“There are indications that there may be more than one body on the property, we don’t know for sure yet,” Barnette added.

Wright said that Brown told investigators “that there’s four people buried on this property.

“I don’t know if that’s true or not,” he said, “but we’re willing to stay here as long as it takes to make sure what she said is either true or not true.”

Police on Thursday arrested Kohlhepp, 45, a registered sex offender who works as a realtor, on suspicion of kidnapping.

Wright said Brown and Kohlhepp knew each other and that her abduction was “not a random act.” He did not specify how they were acquainted.

Todd Kohlhepp, a registered sex offender who has been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of Kala Brown and Charles David Carver is shown in this booking photo provided in Spartanburg, South Carolina, November 3, 2016. Photo courtesy of Spartanburg County Detention Center/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY

Brown, who is being treated at a local hospital, shared information with police during a brief interview, Wright said without elaborating.

“We’re gonna’ let her heal and make sure she’s physically and mentally fine,” Wright said.

Brown’s family, in a statement to local media, said she is “having good moments and bad moments” and “needs time to process and begin to cope with the events that have occurred.”

Additional reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Bernard Orr and Leslie Adler

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