The 45-year-old man charged with keeping an Anderson woman chained in a storage shed for two months on his Spartanburg property, appeared in court in Spartanburg this morning and was officially charged with four counts of murder. The charges are for the four deaths at a Chesnee motorcycle shop 13 years ago today..
Todd Christopher Kohlhepp was denied bond and his next court appearance was scheduled for Jan. 19.
Kohlhepp may be linked to as many as seven deaths, according to Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright.
He is currently charged in the deaths at Superbike Motorsports of Scott Ponder, 30, his 52-year-old mother and part-time employee Beverly Guy, and employees Brian Lucas, 29, and Chris Sherbert, 26, according to Wright. The four were found “brutally murdered” on Nov. 6, 2003 at the business on Parris Bridge Road. The case was Spartanburg County’s first quadruple homicide.
A small number of law enforcement officers were present about 7:30 a.m. Sunday as the search continued to find information and other possible graves located on Kohlhepp's property. Little activity could be seen from the side of Wofford Road. There is earth moving equipment set up on a small hill, and a few cars have driven down the dirt road to the bottom of the hill, including a K-9 unit.
The wife of one of the 2003 victims told The Associated Press that detectives told her Kohlhepp was an angry customer who had been in the shop several times.
Melissa Ponder told AP she was resigned that her husband Scott's death would never be solved before getting a phone call Saturday evening from one of the case's original detectives. Detectives told family members of all four victims of the confession at the same time, according to AP.
"He knew too much about the crime scene," Ponder said of Kohlhepp's account to detectives. "He knew everything."
Kohlhepp was charged Friday with kidnapping a 30-year-old woman and keeping her for two months chained inside a shed on his 95-acre property on Wofford Road near Woodruff.
On Saturday, Wright identified a body found Friday in a shallow grave on the property as that of Charles David Carver, 32.
Carver, the kidnapped woman's boyfriend, died of multiple gunshot wounds to the upper extremities, said Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger, who ruled the death a homicide.
Wright said Kohlhepp has not yet been charged with Carver's death.
The female victim has told investigators that she saw Kohlhepp kill Carver, according to 7th Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette.
Additionally, Kohlhepp, who the sheriff said is cooperating with investigators, has led authorities to where he said two other bodies are buried. Wright did not identify those individuals, nor, he said, have investigators unearthed those remains.
Wright had previously said human remains were found on the property and that investigators fear they are dealing with the work of a serial killer.
Greg Shore, Anderson County coroner, said authorities there are looking at unsolved cases to see if there's any link.
"We are absolutely looking into that, he said on Sunday. "We don't know of any connections but we are looking into that."
Asked specifically about a Pendleton-area quadruple homicide, Shore said he doesn't expect a connection but it will be reviewed along with other cases for any similarities or ties.
On Nov. 2, 2015, husband and wife Michael and Cathy Scott, 58 and 60, and their mothers, 80-year-old Barbara Scott and 82-year-old Violet Taylor, were found dead in their home on Refuge Road outside of Pendleton.
All four had been shot sometime between between Oct. 31 and their discovery. Authorities say they had additional injuries, which they have not revealed, making it one of the most gruesome crime scenes they had ever encountered.
The four lived together in the home and there was no sign of forced entry.
Authorities are returning to Wofford Road Sunday to continue searching the property one portion at a time, Wright said.
"This is one of the biggest crime scenes I've been involved in," he said.