Kala Brown, missing since August found alive, 'chained like a do - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Kala Brown, missing since August found alive, 'chained like a dog' in South Carolina

Posted: Updated:
Deputies found Brown Thursday morning on a property in Spartanburg County, SC where she had been held against her will. WYFF photo Deputies found Brown Thursday morning on a property in Spartanburg County, SC where she had been held against her will. WYFF photo
Kala Brown Kala Brown

BY RACHAEL TROST, NBC News

A woman missing since August has been found alive after allegedly being held captive on a property in Woodruff, South Carolina, officials said Thursday.

Spartanburg County Sheriff's deputies were searching the property Thursday morning in relation to a tip about a sex crime, when they heard a loud banging from a metal storage container.

Sheriff Chuck Wright told local NBC affiliate WYFF that deputies discovered Kala Brown, 30, "chained inside the container like a dog."

She told authorities she had been held there for two months.

"It's all by God's grace that we found that little girl alive," Wright told the station.

The sheriff also said Brown told investigators about four bodies possibly buried on the property. A massive investigation is underway, and photos from the scene show a backhoe being brought in. No bodies were found as of 7 p.m., and the search was called off at nightfall and will resume in the morning, the Spartanburg County Coroner's Office said.

The owner of the property, Todd Kohlhepp, a registered sex offender, has been taken into custody and will be charged with kidnapping, according to the sheriff.

Other charges are also possible, officials said.

"It has been a blessing just having her, but it's, it's great just knowing that she's alive and I can go see her and hug her and tell her how much I love her," Cassandra Ellen, a close friend of Brown's, told WYFF.

Charlie Carver, Brown's boyfriend, who disappeared around the same time, remains missing. Carver's vehicle was found on Kohlhepp's property during the search Thursday, a spokesman for the sheriff's office told WYFF.

A close friend of Brown's reportedly had dinner with her the night of Aug. 29 at the couple's apartment outside Anderson, South Carolina. The following day, several friends received texts back from her. But the responses stopped coming on Aug. 31.

The last images of Carver are on security video from his workplace showing him leaving on August 31.

Joanne Shiflet, Carver's mother, told Dateline that she and her son don't go a day without some type of communication.

And after no word from her son in several days, Shiflet called the manager of the complex where the couple's apartment was, to see if she could check on them. The manager knocked, but there was no answer. So she went inside.

It appeared no one had been there for some time, according to Shiflet.

Even more troubling was what she did find. Romeo, Browns Pomeranian dog, had been left without any food or water.

"That dog is her baby. She'd never leave him like that," Bonnie Newsom, Brown's mother, told Dateline back in early October.

The case attracted national attention several weeks later when mysterious postings began to appear on Carver's Facebook account. The messages, which appeared after the two were reported missing, included statements that the couple was fine and had simply left on their own.

Both Brown and Carver's families believe his account had been hacked.

Makenzie Durham, Carver's former high school sweetheart and a friend of 16 years, told WYFF that the discovery of Brown alive gives her hope. "It's a miracle. They were missing for two months and we found one person alive and well, so miracles do happen," she said.

"You never can give up hope. You just got to keep hoping and never think that they're not going to be found and that there's never a worst case scenario," Durham told the station. "You're always just going to be positive and keep searching."

Kala and Charlie were featured in Dateline's social and digital series "Missing in America" on Oct. 10, 2016.

Powered by Frankly