(Editor’s note: The name of the woman rescued was removed because we don't identify potential victims of sexual assault)
Law enforcement on Thursday afternoon were searching a home in Moore, South Carolina, that belonged to a man suspected of holding an Anderson woman captive.
Late in the afternoon police were observed removing a car from the property belonging to Todd Christopher Kohlhepp.
Kohlhepp, who was arrested Thursday in connection with the discovery of an Anderson woman found chained in a metal container, is a Spartanburg County real estate broker and a licensed pilot.
The container was described as being 30 feet by 15 feet by 10 or 12 feet. It was chained and locked, Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said at a news conference.
Coworkers were shocked to hear of 45-year-old Todd Christopher Kohlhepp's arrest.
“This is a nightmare,” said Manfred Lewis, an agent at TKA Real Estate in Spartanburg. “I’m shocked. We don’t know what’s going on but I’ve never had problems with him. He was always professional to me. Friendly.
Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office investigators found the woman , who has been missing from her Anderson home since August, “in a container, chained up like a dog,” according to Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright. The State does not identify victims of sexual assault.
They are still looking for her boyfriend, 32-year-old Charles Carver.
Kohlhepp, a registered sex offender from Moore, has been arrested, Wright said.
The 30-year-old woman worked for Kohlhepp, who is a real estate agent.
A close friend, Leah Miller, told the Independent Mail that the missing woman helped Kohlhepp clean houses and clear properties before he offered them for sale or rent.
"I was supposed to be helping [her] , but I recently had neck surgery," Miller said."I'm just in shock, wondering if she tried to reach me to help her before she disappeared. I'm happy that she is alive, but my heart is breaking because we don't know what's going on with Charlie."
Miller said she believes her friend started working for Kolhepp just weeks before she disappeared.
Wright said the woman has told investigators that there may be other victims.
“We’re trying to make sure that we don’t have a serial killer on our hands,” Wright said.
After her rescue, the woman was taken to a nearby hospital, Wright said.
More than two dozen law enforcement officers came Thursday to an area near Wofford Road in Woodruff, focusing on a field and a wooded area that was surrounded by a chain-link fence.
Wright said she was found because someone “heard her banging” on the container that she has been kept in for two months.
Before they disappeared, the couple shared a place in Anderson Crossing Apartments on Beltline Boulevard. Carver worked at First Quality Enterprises, a tissue plant in Anderson.
According to police reports, Carver’s mother, Claudia Shiflet, had been unable to reach him since Aug. 29. Leah Miller told police that she had last heard from her friend in an Aug. 31 text message.“Are you awake?” was the message.
Miller answered it later that day, but never heard anything back.
Carver drove a 2002 white Pontiac Grand Prix with the South Carolina license plate and an LSU decal. The car as not been located.
Gwen Ravan, who lives across the street from the Woodruff scene, said she found it all disconcerting.
“It’s very unsettling,” she said. “I’m here by myself a lot, so it’s unsettling to know that this could be happening so close by.”