Woman missing two years found with man thought to be abductor

By Tracey Amick  bio | email

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) -  A Dorchester County woman who had been missing for more than two-and-a-half years faced a judge in Florida Monday on other charges. US Marshals found Teista Burwell living with the man originally suspected in her disappearance, David Kornahrens.

Dorchester County Sheriff LC Knight said the situation is frustrating. "It's kind of discouraging, aggravating. However, that's our job," he said.

Knight said searching for a missing person like Burwell, who wanted to be missing, is also expensive.

"It's a shame we used so many man hours on a case like this," said Knight.

Knight said they conducted more than 15 interviews, served two search warrants and even collected a DNA profile on Burwell they then used to rule out three Jane Does in Dallas, Miami, and Myrtle Beach.

But there were signs that Burwell was still alive.

"We didn't have any signs to show us that there was foul play at the scene. We didn't have a body,"  said Knight.

There was also an ATM withdrawal in West Ashley the month after she disappeared. "And that led us to believe she'd gotten by the timeframe when foul play usually shows up," said Knight.

And then there was the David Kornahrens connection.

"We didn't find Mr. Kornahrens in the area and thought all along they were together," said Knight.

A Kornahrens is skilled at hiding, with his 26-page criminal record dating back to 1988 and more than 10 different aliases.

"If you do bad things and want to stay out of jail you have to disguise yourself," said Knight.

Now more than two years later, they are in the custody of US Marshals in Miami, facing charges in South Carolina. Knight just wishes there were more charges, especially for Burwell.

"I wish there was a way someone could get charged in a situation like this, we could've been doing something a lot more productive for the citizens of Dorchester County," said Knight.

At Monday's hearing in Florida, Burwell waived her right to fight extradition back to South Carolina. She is facing 3 charges of forgery and one charge of possession of a stolen vehicle in Charleston County. Lt. Mark Fields says plans are being made to go pick her up in the next day or two.

Kornahrens is being held without bond in Florida. He is facing federal charges of counterfeiting and fraud.

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