Woodruff, SC (WLTX/WSPA/CBS) – Neighbors say they are heart-broken knowing a woman was held captive for months just a few feet away for them.
“I’m so sorry to her mother and whoever and to her, that that happened to her,” Mary White explained fighting back tears.
White lives on Wofford Road across the street from where a missing woman was found tied up like a dog in a 30 by 15 container. White says she can’t believe what’s happened.
“Knowing that that girl was out there in that box, tied up for two months and us up here just having a good time, it really broke my heart that we didn’t help her some way,” White said.
Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said the woman was banging on the container when officers discovered her.
“It’s bad when you got somebody chained up for two months, you know being held hostage basically for two months, and she was chained around her neck like a dog, and you know I’m just thankful to God that we found her alive,” Wright said.
She was taken to the hospital for treatment.
“This is just nonsense, somebody that can be that coldhearted to do that to a human being,” Wright said.
The search is on for her boyfriend, Charlie Carver who has also been missing.
The car they were last seen in has been found on the property on Wofford Road. The sheriff said dozens of officers and volunteers have been searching the area and have also found several weapons on the property. The sheriff warned that there could be bear traps on the property.
Todd Kohlhepp, a real estate agent was taken into custody in connection with the crime.
He’s a registered sex offender and the sheriff says the victim told them there may be bodies on the property. Wright is checking into those claims, and saying he’s trying to make sure they don't have a serial killer on their hands.
White said she would see Kohlhepp but he wasn’t friendly and had put up a giant fence around his property.
“We just knew he was a loner, and we just left him being alone that’s the way he wanted to be, he didn’t even want you to speak to him when he came in and out,” White said.
White’s step son Ray says he knew something was strange about Kohlhepp.
“Every time he went in or out he would lock it immediately after he either went in or out and we knew it was strange to have a fence like this in farm community,” Ray White said. “I didn’t know what was going on but luckily they did find her and she’s still alive.”
Sheriff Wright said he believed the victim and Kohlhepp knew each other and that the crime was not random.
“Right now basically we’ll follow up on leads and do those kinds of things, but we’ll have people here guarding the property to make sure nobody comes in and messes with any evidence,” the sheriff said.
Wright said officers will continue searching the property for as long as they feel they need to.
“We’re certainly praying for the best outcome,” Wright said of finding Charlie Carver.
Kohlhepp is expected to be charged with kidnapping with the possibility of more charges.