Newly released footage from Kala Brown’s kidnapping case shows the moment the young woman was rescued from the shipping container that she had been held in for two months.
Kala Brown, 30, had been chained to the walls of the container by her arms and neck, by Todd Kohlhepp. While she was held captive by serial killer Kohlhepp, Brown was repeatedly raped and abused. Authorities found Brown on Kohlhepp’s property in South Carolina after hearing a woman’s screams in November 2016.
Upon reaching the container, inspectors heard Brown explain that she was chained. “I’m chained to the wall and my neck’s chained to the wall here,” she said. The footage released by prosecutors earlier this month displays the police using bolt cutters to open the container. They can be heard reassuring Brown by saying: “We’re going to get you out of there” and “you’re okay, we’re here.”
The police then asked Brown about her boyfriend Charlie Carver, who had also been kidnapped. According to reports, the couple had gone to Kohlhepp’s house for a cleaning job.
“Todd Kohlhepp shot Charlie Carver three times in the chest, wrapped him in a blue tarp, put him in the bucket of the tractor, locked me down here,” she said calmly. “I’ve never seen him again. He says he’s dead and buried. He says there are several bodies dead and buried out here.”
The police conducted a search of the property and found a total of three bodies, including that of Charlie Carver. The bodies of Meagan Leigh McCraw Coxie and Johnny Joe Coxie, a couple who had been reported missing a year prior, were also found on the property.
As Brown was taken to the hospital following her rescue, she informed the police that Kohlhepp had told her that he had killed four people at a Spartanburg County motorcycle shop 13 years ago. In one of the released tapes, Kohlhepp brags about using gloves and disposing of the different components of the gun in separate trash cans.
Kohlhepp pleaded guilty to seven counts of murder to avoid the death penalty. He also pleaded guilty to raping Brown. He was sentenced to life imprisonment. Kohlhepp will not be eligible for parole, and he has agreed not to appeal the sentence.
Though she has suffered greatly at the hands of Kohlhepp, Brown refused to give in to him and remained strong. “I would just tell him [Kohlhepp] that no matter what he did to me, he did not break me,” she said in February. “He cannot destroy who I am and I won. He tried to crush me but I’m not broken.”
“I’ll recover from this. I’ll always miss Charlie,” she said. “I’ll always wonder what our life would have been like but as far as what Todd did to me personally, I’m not going to let that man ruin my life.”