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The Latest: Missing-persons cases reopened; search continues

November 04, 2016 - 1:44 PM

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - The Latest on the investigation after a missing woman was found chained inside a storage container (all times local):

4 p.m.

A South Carolina sheriff estimates that deputies have searched a little more than a quarter of the 95 acres where a woman was found chained in a storage container and investigators found a body buried in a shallow grave.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told reporters Friday that his department plans to go back over the 30 to 40 per cent of the property again now that they have the proper equipment, and he said investigators will keep searching until they have covered the entire piece of land.

Wright also said that authorities will reopen all of the county's missing-person cases.

Referring to the body that was found earlier Friday, Wright said his "heart breaks for the families of whoever this person belonged to."

Coroner Rusty Clevenger says he has no timetable for identifying the body, but that he'll use the "quickest scientific way."


2:45 p.m.

A prosecutor says a body was found on a South Carolina property where a woman was chained and held captive for weeks.

Prosecutor Barry Barnette spoke Friday at a court hearing for Todd Christopher Kohlhepp on a kidnapping charge.

Barnette indicated more charges were coming.

The woman and her boyfriend were missing for weeks before she was rescued alive Thursday.

Barnette said that the body found on the property hasn't been identified.

Barnette said the victim saw the suspect shoot and kill her boyfriend.

The prosecutor said: "She told us this individual did kill him in her presence."


12:40 p.m.

The man accused of chaining a South Carolina woman was convicted of a 1986 kidnapping in Arizona that landed him on the sex offender registry.

South Carolina's sex offender registry lists the Arizona offence as the reason Todd Kohlhepp is in the database of sex offenders. It indicates he was a juvenile offender, convicted in 1987 when he was a teenager.

Matching online prison records from Arizona show that Kohlhepp served about 14 years for the felony and was released in 2001.

The Arizona records show the kidnapping happened in November 1986 in the Phoenix area.

The records don't elaborate on the crime, but do list some violations while in prison.

The records say he destroyed property and fought on a number of occasions while incarcerated in 1991 and 1988.


12:25 p.m.

A South Carolina coroner says he's been called to the scene where a missing woman was found chained inside a large storage container.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger confirmed in an email that he's at property near Woodruff where a woman was found Thursday after deputies got a tip from police investigating the disappearance of an Anderson couple.

Clevenger said he could not immediately talk about the situation.

Sheriff Chuck Wright said the woman told investigators there could be as many as four bodies on the property.

Forty-five-year-old Todd Christopher Kohlhepp of Moore has been charged with kidnapping. He was arrested at his home after the woman was found. He has a bond hearing scheduled at 2 p.m. Friday.

The woman's boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles Carver, remains missing.


7:30 a.m.

A South Carolina man arrested after a woman was found chained inside a large storage container on his rural property is set to go before a judge.

A hearing was expected Friday afternoon for 45-year-old Todd Christopher Kohlhepp, a registered sex offender who owned the land where the woman was found Thursday.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said the woman had disappeared in late August. She was found "chained up like a dog" inside a container that was about 30 feet by 15 feet. She told deputies other women might be on the property and the search for possible victims resumed Friday.

The woman's boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles Carver, is still missing.

The woman told deputies she had been kept in the container for two months and had been fed regularly.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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