On Monday, a woman who had been the victim of a kidnapper and serial killer and was lucky enough to escape with her life spoke to Dr. Phil about her ordeal.
Last week, a woman who had been a victim of a kidnapper and serial killer and was lucky enough to escape with her life spoke to Dr. Phil about her ordeal. Spartanburg, South Carolina, resident Kala Brown said she had met Todd Kohlhepp on social media after posting she was looking for a job. Kohlhepp, a well-known real estate guru in the area, offered to pay the woman to clean up his properties for resale. He encouraged her to bring a helper along with her to the gigs. Brown accepted his offer, and began bringing her boyfriend, Charles Carver, to the properties.
On August 31st, Brown met Kohlhepp at his own property, a farm near Woodruff, much like she always did, believing she would be picking up keys to whichever residence she would be responsible for cleaning that day. Carver came with her. Brown thought nothing of the meeting. It was just another routine visit to her employer so she could take on her next assignment.
That particular day, upon her arrival, Brown dialed Kohlhepp from her cell phone. He met the couple, and Kohlhepp proceeded to lead the young man and woman into his garage, where he gave them some tools for cleaning. Upon exiting, the farmer said he’d left behind something and went back inside. A few minutes later, he emerged with a gun and immediately opened fire, killing Carver as he held his girlfriend’s hand. Brown was then bound and gagged, and left in the garage while Kohlhepp took care of Carver’s body. For the next several weeks, the woman was tortured repeatedly by Kohlhepp.
On November 3, 2015, Spartanburg authorities went to the farm to search for Brown and Carver. Investigators found the victim chained by the ankle and neck yelling for help from inside a metal storage unit. Kohlhepp was arrested and charged with kidnapping. Two days later, he returned to the property with investigators and led them to Carver’s body, along with two others, another couple who had been reported missing by a family member in December – 29-year-old Johnny Joe Coxie and his 25-year-old wife Meagan Leigh McCraw Coxie. Kohlhepp went on to confess to a 2003 quadruple murder at a motorcycle store 15 miles outside of Spartanburg, as well. He now faces murder charges for each victim, seven in total, according to court documents.
Kohlhepp has also been a registered sex offender since he was a teenager. Years ago, he allegedly held a 14-year-old girl at gunpoint and assaulted her. In this case, he was charged with kidnapping and sexual assault. Other charges were dropped, and Kohlhepp was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Once released back into the public, he started his real estate business and became well-respected in the area.
Brown is still struggling with accepting that the love of her life died because she took him to the property with her that day. She says she thought about bringing someone else, but Kohlhepp had actually told her he preferred for Carver to tag along, because he didn’t want anyone new to find out where he lived. After killing Carver, Kohlhepp had evidently told Brown, “It was easier to control someone if you took someone they loved.”