Woman found chained in container warns of bodies on property

In this Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, investigators gather at property on Wofford Road in Woodruff, S.C., after a missing Anderson woman was found chained in a large storage container. (Heidi Heilbrunn/The Greenville News via AP)
In this Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, investigators gather at property on Wofford Road in Woodruff, S.C., after a missing Anderson woman was found chained in a large storage container. (Heidi Heilbrunn/The Greenville News via AP)

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Investigators with cadaver dogs prepared themselves Friday for the possibility of more grisly discoveries near where a missing woman was rescued from a large storage container.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told reporters that cadaver dogs have signaled possible remains near where the woman was found. He says deputies will excavate the area.

The missing woman was found Thursday “chained up like a dog” inside the container measuring about 30 feet by 15 feet. Wright says she told him the bodies of other women could be buried on the land, owned by 45-year-old Todd Christopher Kohlhepp.

Kohlhepp, a registered sex offender, has been arrested and charged with kidnapping. He was scheduled for a bond hearing Friday afternoon in Spartanburg.

The woman’s boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles Carver, is still missing after the couple disappeared in late August.

The sheriff said deputies acting on a tip found the woman after hearing her banging inside the container in the town of Woodruff, 80 miles northwest of the state capital of Columbia.

Wright said she had a chain around her neck. He says the woman, who worked for Kohlhepp, told deputies she had been kept in the container for two months and had been fed regularly.

Anderson Police Chief Jim Stewart said his department’s investigation into the disappearance of the woman her boyfriend led authorities to the property near Woodruff.

“We got computer and cellphone records that ultimately led us to the area in Woodruff,” Stewart said. “We knew that was the last place that a cellphone tied to this case pinged.”

Records indicate 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.

On Friday, referring to the possibility of other victims, the sheriff said: “We’re trying to make sure that we don’t have a serial killer on our hands.”