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Couple disappear; Man's facebook begins erratic posting; Later, woman found captive

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Dalek

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Mar 5, 2014
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https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...count-suddenly-comes-alive-terrifying-family/

Charlie Carver and Kala Brown didn’t show up to dinner on Aug. 31.

It seemed odd. The South Carolina couple had just moved together into a house in Anderson, and Brown was excited to show off her new live-in beau to her friend, Lindsey Mayson.

“That’s what that Thursday night was supposed to be about,” Mayson told the Daily Beast. “It was meeting them and having dinner with them and getting to know each other.”

But that never happened. Security footage showed Carver leaving work that day, but he never went to dinner. Neither did Brown.

Standing up one friend for dinner, while rude, could have been an isolated incident. But then neither of their mothers heard from them. No other friends or family did, even though they rarely went a day without calling a relative.

They were just . . . gone.

“It’s like you have a hot skillet, and they are two drops of water you put on it. They just disappear,” Kala’s mother Bobbie Newsom told Dateline. “It’s not that they just haven’t talked to their moms. No one has heard from them.”

When the concerned friends and family tried calling the couple, their phones were off.

Some thought they could have fled town on an impromptu vacation, as the couple’s 2002 Pontiac Grand Prix, sporting an LSU vanity plate on the front bumper and an LSU decal on the back windshield, was missing.

But that didn’t quite make sense. The door to their house was unlocked, and their prescription medications were still at home. So were Brown’s contact lenses and glasses.

Most shocking to some, their Pomeranian dog Romeo was roaming the house freely without food or water, its crate missing.


“That dog is her baby,” Newsom told Dateline. “She’d never leave him like that.”

Police began looking into it, but as of this week, nearly two months after anyone had heard from them, they still don’t have any suspects.

“We tracked down the leads we had, but there isn’t very much,” Lt. Mike Aikens told Dateline. “We just want to make sure they are okay, because it has been some time.”

The case became even stranger on Sept. 1, when Charlie Carver’s Facebook page — found here — announced that he and Kala had gotten married.



A week after that, a message was briefly posted to the account stating the couple was fine, and then deleted, People reported.

It struck his friends and family members as odd — Carver wasn’t an active Facebook user.

Suddenly, the page exploded with content, as if it had been hacked. It would appear to be flooded with spam, but a closer inspection revealed many of the posts to be related to the couple.

News stories about the missing couple appeared in rapid-fire succession, along with other stories about missing people. Strange, violent images and memes began being posted on the Facebook page.

I weren’t crazy, I’d be insane,” read one. Another read, “Sometimes late at night I dig a hole in the backyard to keep the nosy neighbor’s guessing.”



Even innocuous ones took on new meaning, such as one posted photograph that simply included the final lines to “Hotel California” by the Eagles:

Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. “Relax,” said the night man. “We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.

Facebook users, seeming to be friends and family, have desperately asked questions on many posts.

On one — a post of a missing poster for the couple — a user wrote, “Why the missing poster, Charlie? Is there a message you’re trying to send?”

On Oct. 1, one user commented on the marriage announcement, ” Where the hell is Kala Brown???” to which Charlie’s Facebook account responded, “kala is with her husband charlie.”

On another post, a user asked where Kala was, to which Charlie’s account responded “who the f––– are you to question me about my girlfriend?”

Carver’s mother Joanne Shiflet told NBC that all the photographs of the two that have been uploaded are more than a year old, and that her son didn’t post memes like these.

“It’s getting people thinking they are found, but they are not,” Shiflet said.

“I wish I could tell them to stop,” Carver’s younger sister Katie told the Daily Beast. “If they know where he is, bring him home.”

The account also appeared to be messaging friends.

“im just missing to everyone else,” Carver’s account told a friend in a message obtained by the Daily Beast. “We [are] both ok. there is only one person that knows where we are … the person that means the most to me and kala she know where we are and we are coming that way for ever.”

Meanwhile, Brown’s account hasn’t been updated since Aug. 27.

Anderson police Lt. David Creamer told the Daily Beast that he does not believe his office has attempted to contact Facebook in an attempt to discover who is posting these things.

“To do anything like that, we’d have to issue a search warrant to Facebook,” Creamer said. “I don’t know if we’ve done that but I’m pretty sure we have not done that. … You’d have to serve [Facebook] with a search warrant to search their records for an IP.”

A Facebook spokesperson told the website that if they were served with a warrant, they would turn over “recent login/logout IP addresses . . . and location information.”
.


UPDATE NOVEMBER 3:


http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/03/us/missing-south-carolina-woman-found/index.html

(CNN)The deputy thought she heard banging.

She and her colleagues were out on a rural piece of South Carolina land Thursday morning, preparing to serve a search warrant.

She asked the other deputies whether they heard the banging, too. But it was hard to tell. It could have been just some noise coming from the woods, someone said.

The deputies listened more closely, and hearing it again they moved closer to a 30-foot-long shipping container and knocked on the side.

Inside Kala Brown, missing since late August, started screaming. "Help me! Get me out of here!" Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright told Ashleigh Banfield of HLN's "Primetime Justice."

The deputies took a padlock off the doors of the container and opened it.

Inside they found the 30-year-old woman tethered by the neck, "chained like a dog," the sheriff said.

I've been in here for two months, she told the deputies, who found tools on the property and cut her free.

"It's just a miracle by God that we found her alive," Wright told HLN.

There was no sign of Brown's 32-year-old boyfriend, Charles David Carver, who also disappeared in August.

Later, as dozens of people searched the 100-acre property, his vehicle was found. It was in a ravine, covered in brush.

The deputies took a padlock off the doors of the container and opened it.

Inside they found the 30-year-old woman tethered by the neck, "chained like a dog," the sheriff said.

I've been in here for two months, she told the deputies, who found tools on the property and cut her free.

"It's just a miracle by God that we found her alive," Wright told HLN.

There was no sign of Brown's 32-year-old boyfriend, Charles David Carver, who also disappeared in August.

Later, as dozens of people searched the 100-acre property, his vehicle was found. It was in a ravine, covered in brush.

Todd Kohlhepp
A cadaver dog picked up on something, but it's not clear what, Wright said.

Brown told deputies she thinks four people might be buried on the property, which is owned by Todd Kohlhepp, the sheriff said. Kohlhepp, a registered sex offender, was arrested.

Kohlhepp is not cooperating with investigators, Wright said.

The sheriff described the container as a hellish place to be locked in during the area's hot weather. No lights, no windows, no air flow. Two visits a day, where Brown was given food and water.

She was wearing clothes when she was found. It's not clear whether they are the same ones she was wearing when she and Carver went missing.

Wright told the media that investigators think Kohlhepp, Carver and Brown may have known each other, but their relationship wasn't clear to authorities.

"I don't think this was a random act," the sheriff said.

Kohlhepp, 45, was added to the South Carolina Sex Offender Registry as a result of a 1987 kidnapping conviction in Arizona when he was a teenager.

Wright thanked the efforts of the Spartanburg County sex crimes investigators for leading them to the Kohlhepp property.

The sheriff said deputies found weapons on the property.

He described the property as a farm that has no home on it. Kohlhepp doesn't live on the property but was arrested there. It is unclear whether he has an attorney but he asked for one when he was arrested.

Police were still searching the property Thursday night.

Realtor's dark past exposed with rescue of chained woman on his Woodruff property

WOODRUFF – Todd Kohlhepp portrayed himself to the outside world as a hard-charging, coffee-guzzling businessman whose thirst for life and professional success made him the perfect real estate agent to help people sell or find a home.

With a broad smile and a power tie tucked into a crisp Windsor knot, Kohlhepp beamed from his firm’s web page, boasting of advanced degrees, professional accolades and a passion for flying planes and racing cars. His bio trumpeted a can-do attitude from a man who didn’t understand what “it can wait til tomorrow” means.

Kohlhepp apparently applied that same drive to darker pursuits as well, constructing a chamber of horrors at a sprawling expanse of woodlands where Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies are now digging for bodies, authorities said.

The 45-year-old agent had been operating under the radar for years, ever since he was awarded a South Carolina real estate license despite being an ex-con who had done time for a sexually based kidnapping in Arizona. South Carolina officials didn’t seem to notice that someone who made his living venturing into other people’s homes was also a registered sex offender in this state.

Kohlhepp's outer image came crashing down Thursday afternoon, however, when sheriff’s deputies touring his 95-acre lot heard someone banging on the side of a metal storage container on the property. Inside, they found an Anderson woman who had been missing for two months, chained like a dog in a cage, Sheriff Chuck Wright said.

The rescued woman, 30-year-old Kala Brown, had disappeared Aug. 30, along with her boyfriend, Charlie Carver, 32. Brown told investigators Kohlhepp shot and killed Carver, then held her prisoner inside the padlocked container, authorities said.

What’s more, Brown revealed that the bodies of four people could be buried on the property, which Kohlhepp had owned for two years, Wright said.

Shortly after search teams recovered one body Friday from his Wofford Road land, Kohlhepp was hauled into a small courtroom at the Spartanburg County jail for a bail hearing on a kidnapping charge. He sat without shackles or handcuffs, still wearing the blue T-shirt and gym shorts in which he had been arrested the day before. Lacking an attorney, he said little during the proceeding.

Several of Carver's family members sat nearby, appearing too stunned to react.

Seventh Circuit Solicitor Barry Barnette described Kohlhepp as a “very, very dangerous man” and indicated that at least one murder charge was imminent.

A judge set no bail, meaning Kohlhepp will remain in jail for the time being. Meanwhile, the digging on his property continues.

A dangerous past

Kohlhepp came to South Carolina after serving a 14-year prison term in Arizona stemming from a sex crime in the Phoenix area, court records show.

Barnette said Kohlhepp kidnapped and sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl when he was 15. He reportedly forced the girl into his home, bound her hands and duct-taped her mouth before sexually assaulting her.

WSPA-TV obtained court records showing that Kohlhepp also received extensive counseling, including hospitalization, for his behavior. A psychiatric evaluation revealed Kohlhepp destroyed his room with a hammer, trashed other children’s work, bleached a goldfish, shot a dog with a BB gun and was kicked out of the Boy Scouts for disruptive behavior. The report quoted his father as saying the only emotion Kohlhepp was capable of was anger, according to WSPA.

Kohlhepp has been listed on South Carolina’s sex offender registry since at least 2012, but that didn’t stop him from getting a real estate license.

At the time, applicants needed only to check a box on a licensing form indicating whether or not they had been convicted of a crime, said state Sen. Ronnie Cromer, R-Newberry, who successfully pushed for more stringent criminal background check requirements that went into effect in 2014.

“Before that, if you checked the box that you had done nothing wrong, how were they going to find out about it?” he said.

The law was amended again this year to specifically list sex-related felonies as disqualifying offenses. Kohlhepp, however, already had a valid license, which is good until June of next year, according to state records.

State Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, was a main sponsor of the latest change. He said Kohlhepp's case underscores the need for background checks for real estate professionals, who carry unique access to people's homes.

"Anytime you put someone in a position of trust like that, I think there is an expectation on the public's part that you're not going to end up with someone who is unsafe or dangerous," he said.

Compound in the woods

Kohlhepp, owner and broker-in-charge of Spartanburg-based TKA Real Estate, was apparently successful enough at his craft to underwrite the purchase of the vast Wofford Road tract in May 2014 for $305,600.

Neighbors said they found it curious that he almost immediately set to work installing a chain link fence around the perimeter of the property at considerable expense. The land seemed rich, prime for hunting passing game. Why would he want to do that, they wondered.

Kohlhepp's Facebook page is filled with posts and photographs about his farm property and the work he was doing there to clear the land, fill in ravines and build roads. "I am so looking forward to my land time today," he wrote in March. "Trying to decide if I want to hook up bushhog and run over stuff, cut trees down or maddog the water til it runs uphill... choices choices... you got your gym.. I got mine."

He also commented about current events, ways to meet women and the contentious presidential contest. Then, on Sept. 15, he left this chilling post:

"Reading the news.. this person missing, that person missing, another person missing.. oh wait.. that person just went to beach with friend, other person found with her parole violation boyfriend... in the event I become missing, please note no one would take me. I eat too much and I am crabby, they would just bring me back or give me 20 bucks for a cab ride. most likely if I am missing, its because my dumb a-- did something on that tractor again and I am too stubborn to go to the doctor... I got 9 lives.. I aint done yet."

Kala Brown and Charlie Carver had been missing 16 days at that point.

It remains unclear exactly what led deputies Thursday to Kohlhepp’s property, which is about 80 miles northwest of Columbia. Anderson Police Chief Jim Stewart told the Anderson Independent newspaper that computer and cellphone records played a role in the visit.

Soon after arriving, Brown was heard banging on the container, said to be similar in size to those used to transport global freight on trucks, or about 30 feet by 15 feet. It was sitting above ground.

Sheriff Wright said Brown had a chain around her neck. She told deputies she had been kept in the container for two months and had been fed regularly. It was unclear why she had been targeted, though multiple media outlets reported that she had briefly worked for Kohlhepp before her disappearance.

Wright said Brown, though traumatized, is in good condition.

Carver's vehicle was found in a ravine on Kohlhepp's property late Thursday, Wright said. Carver, however, remains missing.

Barnette, the prosecutor, said Kohlhepp had created a compound on the property, with a two-car garage that contained living quarters. Assault rifles, two 9 millimeter handguns with silencers and an "unbelievable amount" of ammo was found on the premises, Barnette said. Several guns were also found at Kohlhepp's home in Moore, about 20 minutes from the property.

Deputies brought in cadaver dogs, which alerted on possible remains Friday morning. The county coroner arrived a short time later and word surfaced that a body had been recovered. No identity has been released.

Wright said there is much more to the case that needs to be determined. "We're trying to make sure that we don't have a serial killer on our hands," Wright said.

Kathy Rhodes has lived nearby Kohlhepp’s property for 20 years. She said the community has been stunned by the events that continue to unfold. She’s even debating getting her concealed weapons permit for protection, despite hating guns.

“I thought that could’ve been me, my daughter, my granddaughter,” Rhodes said. “It’s just scary when it’s this close to home.”

Frances Bradley got down on one knee in the tall grass, clutched the fence surrounding the crime scene and prayed Friday afternoon. She prayed for the victims’ families and officials involved in the ongoing search of the property.

Though associates who worked with Kohlhepp described him as a good, professional guy, Bradley, who attends nearby Selma Baptist Church, simply said, “Satan hides in many forms.”
 

Randomizer

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Dec 8, 2008
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Either a troll who hacked the account or something more sinister? Hopefully he has genuinely just lost his mind and that they just eloped together.
 

Grizzlyjin

Supersonic, idiotic, disconnecting, not respecting, who would really ever wanna go and top that
Jun 23, 2004
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Media interest in their disappearance might have encouraged someone to attempt to access their accounts. That person is probably messing with the family via the Facebook. Old photos are probably just from the cloud.

Still something worth looking into if they don't have any other credible leads
 

CHC

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Aug 24, 2012
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"Hacked" would be my guess as well, but that does little to address the extremely unsettling question of what the fuck happened to this couple in the first place.....
 

norm9

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Nov 21, 2014
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My first thought is they just straight up bounced out instead of something nefarious happening. That glow you feel when connecting with someone is a crazy feeling. Crtazy enough to do weird shit like disappearl
 

Fuchsdh

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Jan 14, 2012
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"Hacked" would be my guess as well, but that does little to address the extremely unsettling question of what the fuck happened to this couple in the first place.....

On first blush I'd say the simplest answer is the boyfriend killed the girlfriend, but they don't mention any evidence of violent behavior and I can't imagine a domestic violence case would leave so few clues.

My money is also on the "hack" being a troll. The guy's Facebook password was probably pretty trivial to figure out.
 

CHC

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Aug 24, 2012
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My first thought is they just straight up bounced out instead of something nefarious happening. That glow you feel when connecting with someone is a crazy feeling. Crtazy enough to do weird shit like disappearl

Very slim chance considering they left prescription meds, contacts, and.... a living dog.

On first blush I'd say the simplest answer is the boyfriend killed the girlfriend, but they don't mention any evidence of violent behavior and I can't imagine a domestic violence case would leave so few clues.

Guess there is nothing to explicitly exclude the possibility that he killed her and is hiding somewhere but if that was at all planned, it seems weird to do it on a night when you had plans with someone who is going to immediately notice your absence.
 

Zomba13

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Sep 27, 2009
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... Maybe, I duno, ... Maybe get that warrant? Just a thought.

Seriously. Like the way the police are talking it's like they don't care. Yeah, it might end up just being a punk kid who hacked into the account and it messing with the friends and family or it might actually be a lead. Facebook have even said if they were given a warrant they would comply.
 

The Beard

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Jun 7, 2014
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That's disturbing. I wonder what's really going on there? It sounds like his ex-wife might be involved. Wow
 

M.Bluth

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Anderson police Lt. David Creamer told the Daily Beast that he does not believe his office has attempted to contact Facebook in an attempt to discover who is posting these things.

“To do anything like that, we’d have to issue a search warrant to Facebook,” Creamer said. “I don’t know if we’ve done that but I’m pretty sure we have not done that. … You’d have to serve [Facebook] with a search warrant to search their records for an IP.”
To me this is the most fucked up part of the story. How about you get on that?!
 

rainking187

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Dec 19, 2007
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Wait, they went missing August 31st and stuff started getting posted to his Facebook account September 1st? Seems unlikely a random hacker would have even heard about the case in that span of time.
 
Dec 26, 2014
1,171
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Wait, they went missing August 31st and stuff started getting posted to his Facebook account September 1st? Seems unlikely a random hacker would have even heard about the case in that span of time.

Yeah I thought that was weird too. Seems like a person highly involved in all of this.
 

Fantastical

Death Prophet
May 3, 2008
20,548
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Well, this will be an episode of Sword and Scale. Very creepy, and I can't imagine what the family must of thought when they saw these posts. Absolutely terrible.

Also, as others have mentioned, that statement about serving Facebook a search warrant is bonkers.
 

Makonero

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Apr 13, 2012
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Wait, they went missing August 31st and stuff started getting posted to his Facebook account September 1st? Seems unlikely a random hacker would have even heard about the case in that span of time.

It was retroactive. So it was posted on October 1st, but the date set for the "wedding" was September.

Hopefully the police are getting that warrant and investigating. It definitely sounds like they aren't taking this seriously enough.
 
Aug 10, 2013
46,695
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I'm sorry but this is fucking terrifying. This is outright chilling me to the bone thinking it's a possible murderer going into the account and posting shit to taunt friends and family. If it's the ex wife posting shit after murdering them, even worst. What the fuck.
 
Sep 16, 2006
16,156
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Los Angeles
Yeah but police don't appear interested

Yeah. It's complicated. Having been through a vaninishing family thing a ways back, there's really only so much the police can do with a case like this. There's no law about ghosting your family. And if contact is made in any way that's generally the end of it.
 

Korey

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Dec 8, 2008
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Yeah. It's complicated. Having been through a vaninishing family thing a ways back, there's really only so much the police can do with a case like this. There's no law about ghosting your family. And if contact is made in any way that's generally the end of it.

What do you mean by "law".

They're missing. You can file a missing people report right?
 
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