US man arrested for holding woman chained confesses to seven killings

AFP , Sunday 6 Nov 2016

A man who was arrested in the US state of South Carolina for holding a woman hostage and "chained like a dog" has confessed to up to seven killings, a local sheriff said.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told a press conference late Saturday that warrants were issued charging Todd Christopher Kohlhepp with a quadruple murder that baffled police and investigators for 13 years.

Wright said that the suspect had also shown authorities two gravesites on his vast property, in addition to one body dug up from a shallow grave on Friday.

"There's no wondering anymore" about the November 2003 killings at the Superbike Motorsports in the nearby town of Chesnee, Wright told local media, including local ABC affiliate 13WLOS and The Greenville Times.

"He told us some stuff that nobody else ought to know," Wright told reporters.

Kohlhepp, 45, was arrested Thursday and charged with kidnapping after the woman that police said was "chained like a dog" inside a shipping container was rescued from his property.

Kala Brown, 30, was discovered with chains around her neck and ankles trapped inside the padlocked container. Police rescued her after hearing a banging sound when they arrived at Kohlhepp's property with a search warrant.

Kohlhepp, who owns a 95-acre (38-hectare) tract of rural land in the town of Woodruff, northeast of the state capital Columbia, is a real-estate agent and registered sex offender.

Brown told officers she had been in the container for two months. She and her boyfriend, Charles Carver, 32, had been missing since August.

Brown told police that Kohlhepp shot her boyfriend multiple times in the chest in front of her.

Sheriff Wright said Saturday that authorities identified the body dug up the day before as that of Carver.

Kohlhepp has been registered as a sex offender in South Carolina for a 1987 conviction in Arizona for kidnapping, according to local WSPA News. He was 15 when he was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

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