Former girlfriend of man buried on Kohlhepp property: 'I'm walki - FOX Carolina 21

Former girlfriend of man buried on Kohlhepp property: 'I'm walking around in a bad dream'

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Sarah Backlund looks at a picture of her daughter Maddie, who until now, did not know the fate of her father, Johnny Coxie (FOX Carolina) Sarah Backlund looks at a picture of her daughter Maddie, who until now, did not know the fate of her father, Johnny Coxie (FOX Carolina)
GREENWOOD, SC (FOX Carolina) -

When news broke about two more bodies being found on suspected serial killer Todd Kohlhepp's property, Sarah Backlund said she had an overwhelming sense of dread.

"I didn't want to believe it, but I had a bad feeling," she said. 

Backlund is the ex-girlfriend of Johnny Coxie, whose body was found along with that of his wife, Meagan Coxie, on Kohlhepp's Woodruff land. Both victims had been shot to death. The coroner said Johnny Coxie had been shot in the torso, and his wife had been shot in the head some time within the last eleven months. 

"I had wondered when it got down to the last two bodies," said Backlund, adding rumors had swirled saying the Coxie's had been panhandling in that area. "When I heard [that the bodies were theirs] I just fell to the floor. I remember screaming 'What about Maddie? What about Maddie?'"

Maddie is Sarah Backlund and Johnny Coxie's daughter. The 9-year-old had been wondering where her father was for nearly a year after the couple disappeared at the end of 2015. Wednesday, after the coroner positively identified her father's body, Backlund said she had to deliver the awful news to Maddie. 

"We sat her down - all we told her at this time was that Johnny and Meagan were killed by a horrible person, and that they are in heaven now. And she wept for a long while," said Backlund. 

Sarah Backlund and said she and other surviving family members are left with questions: Why were the Coxie's on Todd Kohlhepp's property? Backlund said she has a theory - a theory based on knowing her ex had done odd jobs in the past.

"I believe that Todd Kohlhepp saw them as someone that he could easily take advantage of," she said. "I think that he offered them work. And I think that's how he lured them, I really do."

Both Johnny and Meagan Coxie had three children between them, including 9-year-old Maddie. The other two children are in the care of relatives. Backlund said all three children are in good hands, but it has been extremely difficult for them to process the news. Backlund said she has started a GoFundMe on behalf of her daughter, to help with unpaid child expenses - support she knows Maddie's father would have given if his life hadn't been cut so short. 

"If Todd Kohlhepp hadn't have done this - I believe in second, third, fourth chances. [Johnny] could have been getting his life in order and doing the right things for Maddie. And now, neither of them will ever have the chance to be the parents that they could have been. It's just so shocking. I still feel like I'm walking around in a bad dream."

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