The Latest: Victim's wife: bike shop killer was angry patron

AP News
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Posted: Nov 06, 2016 12:14 AM
The Latest: Victim's wife: bike shop killer was angry patron

WOODRUFF, S.C. (AP) — The Latest on the investigation after a missing woman was found chained inside a storage container (all times local):

12:00 a.m.

The wife of one of the four people killed in a 2003 shooting at a South Carolina motorcycle shop says the man who authorities say confessed to the killing was a disgruntled customer.

Melissa Ponder told The Associated Press she was resigned that her husband Scott's death would never be solved before getting a phone call Saturday evening from one of the case's original detectives.

Ponder says the detectives told family members of all four victims the news at the same time — Todd Kohlhepp confessed to the killings.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright says along with the killings of the people found at the Superbike shop, authorities have found three bodies on Kohlhepp's property where they originally found a woman chained inside a container Thursday.

Ponder says detectives told her Kohlhepp was an angry customer who had been in the shop several times.

The Superbike killings stunned the Chesnee community, with rumors like they were committed by a Mexican drug gang or were part of a love triangle crushing the families of the victims.

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10:30 p.m.

A sheriff says the man arrested after a woman was found chained on his property in rural South Carolina killed at least seven people.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright says Todd Kohlhepp confessed Saturday that he was the shooter who killed four people at a motorcycle shop in 2003. Wright says Kohlhepp also showed law enforcement officers Saturday the gravesites of two of his other victims buried on his 95-acre property near Woodruff.

That's in addition to the body found Friday at the site. Wright and Coroner Rusty Clevenger identified that victim as 32-year-old Charles Carver, the boyfriend of the woman found in a locked metal container Thursday.

Wright says "God answered our prayers" in solving the 13-year-old cold case.

The sheriff says it's possible more bodies will be uncovered.

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8:15 p.m.

Authorities say the body found on the rural South Carolina property where a woman was found chained in a storage container is her boyfriend.

Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright identified the body late Saturday as 32-year-old Charles Carver. He was found and exhumed from a shallow grave Friday.

Coroner Rusty Clevenger says Carver died of multiple gunshot wounds in the upper part of his body. He says he's working with an anthropologist to estimate how long he'd been buried.

Carver and his girlfriend went missing around Aug. 31. Todd Kohlhepp is charged with kidnapping her and keeping her chained in a locked storage container.

Prosecutor Barry Barnette said Friday she told investigators she saw her captor shoot her boyfriend.

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1:30 p.m.

A church is holding a cookout to thank law enforcement officers who are searching property where a woman was found chained in a storage container.

Members of a Baptist church near the 95-acre property towed in a grill to cook and serve hamburgers to dozens of officers and reporters. Officers drove out from behind the property's chain link fence for the lunch break.

Investigators were told several bodies may be buried on the site.

Spartanburg County Sgt. Brandon Letterman says the ability to relax for even a little bit "makes our job a lot easier." He says the search resumed about 8 a.m. Saturday, and the community's support "makes us feel great."

Todd Christopher Kohlhepp is charged with kidnapping after authorities found a woman Thursday chained at her neck and ankle inside the container.

The coroner is working to identify a body found Friday.

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11:15 a.m.

A coroner is working to identify the body found on property in rural South Carolina where a woman was found chained in a storage container.

Spartanburg County Coroner Rusty Clevenger says the body was exhumed Friday night and taken to the morgue. It remained unclear Saturday when the body would be identified.

Teams continued Saturday morning to search the 95-acre property near Woodruff.

Police vehicles could be seen going back and forth across the property. An Anderson police officer put two bouquets of flowers in the fence Saturday.

Todd Christopher Kohlhepp is charged with kidnapping after authorities found a woman Thursday chained at her neck and ankle in a storage container. Prosecutor Barry Barnette says the woman saw her captor shoot and kill her boyfriend, who went with her for a cleaning job on the suspect's property.

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2 a.m.

The man accused of chaining a woman in a storage container for weeks had a violent past and was "preoccupied with sexual content" from a young age.

That's according to details emerging as investigators search his rural property for bodies.

Teams digging on the property found one body Friday and feared there could be more.

Prosecutor Barry Barnette says the woman saw her captor shoot and kill her boyfriend, who went with her for a cleaning job on the suspect's property. The body discovered Friday was not immediately identified.

Todd Christopher Kohlhepp is charged with kidnapping. The 45-year-old registered sex offender has a previous kidnapping conviction in Arizona. More charges are expected.

Barnette said that in the Arizona case, Kohlhepp kidnapped a 14-year-old girl, bound her and raped her in 1986. Online prison records show he served about 14 years for the felony. He was released in 2001.