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South Carolina man caught holding woman hostage confesses to seven killings

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
South Carolina man caught holding woman hostage confesses to seven killings

A man who was arrested in South Carolina for holding a woman hostage has confessed to up to seven killings, a local sheriff said.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told a press conference that warrants were issued charging Todd Christopher Kohlhepp with a quadruple murder that baffled police and investigators for 13 years.

Sheriff Wright said that the suspect had also shown authorities two grave sites on his property, in addition to one body found in a shallow grave on Friday.

"There's no wondering anymore" about the November 2003 killings at the Superbike Motorsports in the nearby town of Chesnee, the sheriff told local media.

Kohlhepp, 45, was arrested Thursday and charged with kidnapping after the woman that police said was "chained like a dog" inside a shipping container was rescued from his property.

Kala Brown, 30, was discovered with chains around her neck and ankles trapped inside the padlocked container. Police rescued her after hearing a banging sound when they arrived at the property with a search warrant.

Kohlhepp, who owns a 95-acre (38-hectare) tract of rural land in the town of Woodruff, northeast of the state capital Columbia, is a real-estate agent and registered sex offender.

Ms Brown told officers she had been in the container for two months. She and her boyfriend, Charles Carver, 32, had been missing since August.

She told police that Kohlhepp shot her boyfriend multiple times in the chest in front of her.

Sheriff Wright said that authorities identified the body dug up the day before as that of Mr Carver.

Kohlhepp has been registered as a sex offender in South Carolina for a 1987 conviction in Arizona for kidnapping, according to local WSPA News.

He was 15 when he was accused of kidnapping and sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.