Woman held captive by suspected serial killer tells her story

Updated: Feb. 13, 2017 at 11:53 AM EST
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SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - Kala Brown, an Upstate woman who was held captive and chained inside a storage container for two months, is speaking out about her experience.

Brown spoke exclusively with Dr. Phil McGraw about being kidnapped and watching her boyfriend, Charlie Carver shot and killed in front of her last August.

Todd Kohlhepp, who is accused of kidnapping Brown and killing Carver, is also accused of killing Megan and Johnny Coxie in December and four people at the Superbike Motorsports store in 2003.

Brown told McGraw that Kohlhepp, who was a real estate agent, had contacted her about paying her to clean houses he was selling. Brown said she began cleaning houses for Kohlhepp last May.

"He was nice, polite, just (a) regular businessman," Brown said. "Nothing inappropriate or anything like that."

Brown said she and Carver went to Kohlhepp's house on Aug. 31 to pick up keys. She said Kohlhepp followed them to the property in Spartanburg County.

On previous jobs, Kohlhepp told Brown that she could bring along anyone she wanted to help her, but in this case, he said that since it was his personal property, he would prefer that she and Carver come so no one else would know where he lived.

She said Kohlhepp later explained the real reason he wanted Charlie to accompany her.
"He (Kohlhepp) said it was easier to control someone if you took someone they loved," she said.

Brown said that when they arrived at the property, they all went into a large garage. Kohlhepp told them they would be clearing some underbrush off trails on the property.

Brown said Kohlhepp told them he was going to show them the trails. She said that when they walked out of the garage, Kohlhepp said he had to go back inside and get something.

Brown told McGraw that Kohlhepp came out the garage with a gun in his hand.

"He pretty much shot Charlie before he ever even made it completely out the door," Brown told McGraw. "I got lost. I didn't know what was going on. I didn't know what to do. I just stood there."

Brown said Kohlhepp shot Carver three times in the chest and then grabbed her and told her to go inside.

Brown told McGraw that Kohlhepp was completely calm. "It was like nothing out of the way even happened," she said. She said Kohlhepp then put his hand around her neck.

"I was in shock. I just went. He pulled me to go and told me to go or I could join Charlie and I just went. I was numb. I couldn't think. I still hadn't comprehended what happened," Brown told McGraw.

Brown told McGraw that Kohlhepp took her in the garage, put her on the ground, handcuffed her hands and ankles and put a gag in her mouth.

She said Kohlhepp told her he had to "go take care of Charlie" and left her in the garage.

Brown said Kohlhepp returned about 20 minutes later and took her outside, where she said she saw Carver wrapped in a tarp.

She told McGraw that Kohlhepp then took her to a metal storage container on the property. "It was pitch black, but he had a flashlight and he had a lot of shelving with like dried food and rations and stuff and like lots of bottled water,' Brown said.

She said Kohlhepp took her to the back of the container. "He left me bound and he also put a chain around my neck," she said, explaining that her neck was chained in one corner and her ankle was chained in another corner. Brown said he left and returned a few hours later. "He let me know that if I tried to run, he would kill me. If I tried to hurt him, he'd kill me. If I fought back, he would kill me," Brown said. "And then he raped me."

Brown told McGraw that she and Carver had been friends and casually dating for about a year and had been in a serious relationship for four or five months. She said they were planning to get married.

"Charlie was just a wonderful person. He's one of the best people, in general, I've ever met," Brown said. "He lived his life to make others smile. If Charlie couldn't make somebody smile, his day wasn't complete. He was always joking around and laughing. He was just a very, very special man."

McGraw's interviews with Brown, titled "The Girl In The Box," will air Monday and Tuesday.

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