Kidnapper Appears to Have Posted as Woman’s Dead Boyfriend on Facebook
On his Amazon account, Todd Kohlhepp referenced ‘Hotel California’—the song that appeared on Charlie Carver’s page after Kohlhepp allegedly abducted him.
When Charlie Carver and his girlfriend Kala Brown disappeared in August, the missing man’s Facebook continued posting in his absence. Those who knew him said Carver wouldn’t have possibly written the taunting posts that appeared on his page. They appear to have been right.
Police identified Carver’s body on a rural South Carolina property on Saturday, after discovering Brown alive and locked in a nearby shipping container, where she had been kept for over two months. The couple’s alleged kidnapper Todd Kohlhepp, 45, is now suspected of at least seven murders. As dark details continue to emerge in Kohlhepp’s case, investigators are researching whether the alleged killer might have written the ominous Facebook posts that first attracted national attention to the missing persons case.
After his disappearance, Carver’s Facebook posted updates claiming he and Brown were married, buying a house, and expecting a daughter. The page also shared posts about digging holes, sword violence, and the final lyrics of The Eagles’ song “Hotel California”:
“Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before. ‘Relax,’ said the nightman. ‘We are programmed to receive. You can check-out any time you like, but you can never leave.’”
Kohlhepp referenced the same song on his Amazon.com review of high-security padlocks. Police are investigating the posts, and have not stated conclusively whether the account is Kohlhepp’s although the reviews for guns, season of The Walking Dead, and postings’ syntax all mirror activity on his now-deleted Facebook.
“Now my locks have locks... place is hotel california now,” Kohlhepp wrote in 2015.
Three months earlier, in a different review for the same set of locks, Kohlhepp boasted of placing them on a shipping container. “solid locks.. have 5 on a shipping container.. wont stop them.. but sure will slow them down til they are too old to care,” he wrote.
When police found Brown on Thursday, she was chained in a shipping container on Kohlhepp’s 100-acre property. Carver had been shot and killed on the property at an earlier date.
Police said they are investigating whether Kohlhepp might have posted from Carver’s Facebook account.
“It’s very possible. We’re trying to run that down.” Spartanburg County Sheriff Chuck Wright said when asked at a Friday press conference. “Facebook has always been real good to work with us in this kind of investigation, so we’re just trying to figure it out, if it was him or somebody else that did it. We’ll do our best to figure it out."
Before the couple was found, Carver’s family and friends sent frequent messages to the person using his page, who sometimes posed as Carver, and other times implied that they were Carver’s estranged wife, with whom he was undergoing a divorce.
“Well i would keep my nose clean and out off it. And how do you know my hubby?” the person wrote when one friend inquired about the new posts. Friends speculating that Carver’s wife had hacked his Facebook, or that someone was trying to frame her.
Still in Carver’s voice, the person defended Carver’s wife. “She didnt hack my page she has the password to my facebook,” the person wrote.
But on Sunday, Carver’s wife told The Daily Beast she didn’t know who had posted from his page after his disappearance. Carver’s Facebook has since been deleted, following the complaints of distraught family and friends.
Kohlhepp posted about the missing couple on his own Facebook page.
“Reading the news.. this person missing, that person missing, another person missing.. oh wait.. that person just went to beach with friend, other person found with her parole violation boyfriend,” Kohlhepp wrote on September 15, apparently dismissing the disappearances.
“In the event I become missing, please note no one would take me… most likely if I am missing, its because my dumb ass did something on that tractor again and I am too stubborn to go to the doctor… I got 9 lives.. I aint done yet.”
Most of Carver’s mysterious posts appeared in early October, more than a month after the couple’s disappearance.
Facebook can track a user’s location, provided they have their location settings turned on. If served with a subpoena or a search warrant, Facebook will share this information with law enforcement.
But as of mid October, the Anderson Police Department, which was investigating the missing couple, had not served Facebook with a warrant, a spokesperson told The Daily Beast.
“To do anything like that, we’d have to issue a search warrant to Facebook,” Lt. David Creamer of the Anderson Police Department said on October 12. “I don’t know if we’ve done that but I’m pretty sure we have not done that… You’d have to serve [Facebook] with a search warrant to search their records for an IP.”
Kohlhepp is believed to have killed at least seven people and confessed to a 2003 quadruple homicide, police said Saturday. The Superbike murders, as the 2003 cold case became known, claimed the lives of four employees in a Spartanburg motorcycle shop, after they were shot in the back in broad daylight with no witnesses. Kohlhepp, may have been a disgruntled former customer, investigators believe.
Kohlhepp is also a registered sex offender, after serving 15 years in jail for the brutal rape of a 14-year-old neighbor when he was 15. Kohlhepp threatened the girl with his father’s gun, and ordered her into his house, where he tied her up and raped her, court records obtained by GreenvilleOnline show.
In trial for the 1986 assault, prosecutors described Kohlhepp as a violent repeat offender, who had killed a goldfish with bleach, partially destroyed a house with a hammer, routinely smashed his own and other people’s belongings, laughed as he locked a traumatized boy in a dog crate and rolled it over, and promised to kill his mother.
Removed from Boy Scouts and school for behavioral issues, Kohlhepp was sent to a mental-health clinic at the age of 9 or 10, where reports described Kohlhepp as antisocial, self-centered, and obsessed with sex. The young Kohlhepp was only capable of expressing anger, his father told a probation officer.
When Brown and Carver disappeared Aug. 31, they had driven to Kohlhepp’s overgrown lot, hoping to help him clean the property, one of Brown’s friends reported. A real estate agent, Kohlhepp had recently hired Brown to clean the properties he planned to sell.
“They were going to do some work, help cleaning up the property. And he pulled out a gun and took them hostage,” Brown’s friend Daniel Herren told the Associated Press.
Police are using backhoes, helicopters, and cadaver dogs to search the 100-acre property where the couple was discovered. As of Monday, a second, unidentified body had been discovered.