Todd Kohlhepp case: Search for more bodies on property of alleged serial killer

Alleged S.C. serial killer

Investigators are looking for more bodies on the property of an alleged serial killer in South Carolina.

Todd Kohlhepp is charged with killing four people more than a decade ago. He may be linked to a least three other murders. Kohlhepp was arrested Thursday after investigators discovered a woman chained on his property in Woodruff.

We spoke with the sheriff who tells us the alleged killer asked to see his mother, then led investigators to his property and showed them where he had buried two bodies. One grave has been found, and investigators expect to unearth a second one Monday, reports CBS News correspondent David Begnaud.

Kohlhepp was denied bond on Sunday, as he appeared before a South Carolina county judge and family members of the victims he allegedly murdered 13 years ago to the day.

“Understanding that the families here, anything you wish to say at this time?” the judge asked.

“Not at this time, sir,” Kohlhepp said.

Investigators say the 45-year-old confessed to killing four people at a motorcycle shop in Spartanburg County in 2003. One of them was the shop’s owner, Scott Ponder.

“I had made peace that it was phone call I was never going to get,” said Melissa Brackman, Ponder’s then-wife.

Brackman got that phone call on Saturday from a detective with news of her husband’s alleged killer.

She said Kohlhepp was a disgruntled customer at her husband’s store and credits 30-year-old Kala Brown with his capture. 

“She’s the hero,” Brackman said. “She stayed alive for two months. In a pure hell. And if she had not been found alive, we wouldn’t be sitting here having an interview right now.”

Kohlhepp was arrested on Thursday after investigators discovered Brown chained up like a dog inside a metal storage container on his rural South Carolina property. They later found her boyfriend’s remains in a shallow grave nearby.

On Saturday, Kohlhepp took investigators where he says two other bodies are buried, one of which has been found.

Spartanburg Sheriff Chuck Wright said Kohlhepp has been “very calm and very polite” as well as cooperative. 

In September, Kohlhepp made several posts on Facebook, including “reading the news.. This person missing, that person missing, another person missing.”

Investigators are also looking at product reviews Kohlhepp may have left on Amazon.com. For a shovel with a folding handle, the user posted a review suggesting, “keep in car for when you have to hide the bodies and you left the full size shovel at home.”

Wilton Lawrence sold the property to Kohlhepp where the bodies had been found.

“He wanted privacy. He didn’t want neighbors, friends. He just wanted privacy,” Lawrence said.

Nearly 30 years ago, Kohlhepp admitted to kidnapping and raping a 14-year-old girl in Arizona. He was 15 at the time. He served 14 years in prison for that crime and registered as a sex offender when he got out.

Kohlhepp does not yet have an attorney, but could face the death penalty.