(ANDERSON CITY, S.C.) — The two detectives who rescued Kala Brown from the property of suspected serial killer Todd Kohlhepp have spoken out for the first time about the harrowing moment they discovered her chained up inside a metal container.
“I was shocked and amazed,” Detective Bradley Whitfield, of the Anderson City Police Department, told ABC News.
Upon finding Brown, Detective Charlynn Ezell added, “She just looked at me and said thank you so much for finding me.”
Two months after she went missing, detectives discovered Brown on the 100-acre property in South Carolina when they heard “banging” coming from inside a metal container.
“I think we all saw a lot of things that day that are going to stay with us,” Detective Whitfield said in tears.
Initially, a cell phone ping led investigators to look for Brown and her missing boyfriend, Charles Carver. Carver’s body was found on the property and identified by officials on Saturday.
Carver’s family credited his disappearance for helping lead investigators to Kohlhepp, his brother Nathan told ABC News, “The story happened for a reason. David was put where he was for a reason.”
Kohlhepp, now in custody, is suspected in at least seven murders. Police say he confessed to four murders in 2003, in addition to the killings of Carver and a couple who went missing in 2015, whose bodies were also discovered on his property.
The couple was identified as 25-year-old Meagan Leigh McCraw Coxie and 29-year-old Johnny Joe Coxie, according to Spartanburg Coroner Rusty Clevenger. They were both killed by gunshot wounds. Their deaths were ruled homicides, Clevenger said.
Carver’s estranged wife, Nikki, has since been arrested and accused of pretending to be a police officer. She allegedly attempted to get authorities to ping his cell phone shortly after he went missing.
Authorities have added that this case has expanded to other states as they continue searching more properties owned by Kohlhepp.
Det. Ezell said that some of the details not yet available to the public would be “shocking” if they were released.
“It could be anybody’s child, anybody’s wife or husband,” Whitfield said crying. “I wish we could have done more,” he added.
Kohlhepp has been charged so far for the four murders from 2003, but investigators say more charges may follow. He has not yet entered a plea in any of these cases.
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