A Virginia man who worked in a travelling carnival confessed closing week to the murders of two women and one teenage woman in Tennessee and Georgia, police said.
James Michael Wright, 23, was arrested Thursday and charged with three counts of capital murder in the deaths of the two missing Tennessee female and a 17-year-old Georgia girl, the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s office said.
Sheriff Fred Newman said he was once contacted through the Johnson City Tennessee Police Department two weeks ago in order to set up an interview with Wright due to the fact authorities believed he was once the final individual to have contact with 25-year-old Athina Hopson, who had been stated missing March 21 by means of her mother.
While executing a search warrant on Wright’s truck, authorities found Hopson’s cell phone, Newman said. On Thursday, when Wright was being interviewed by detectives from Tennessee at the local sheriff’s office, he allegedly confessed to killing Hopson and two other female victims, Newman said.
Wright allegedly told police that he shot and killed 22-year-old Carter County, Tennessee, resident Elizabeth Marie Vanmeter on Feb. 28 as a result of an argument, Newman said. She was reported missing by her family on March 17.
Joslyn M. Alsup, whose father worked with Wright at the carnival, was reporting missing on March 8, and Wright allegedly admitted to shooting and killing her the next day, police said.
Wright allegedly shot and killed Hopson on March 17, Newman said. Wright allegedly told investigators that her body fell out of his truck and down an embankment near a bridge as he was driving and that he placed her body in the river, Newman said.
Wright, who works as a sub-contracted employee for the James H. Drew Carnival, allegedly met the women through his work, authorities said. One of the victims, Alsup, was the daughter of one of Wright’s coworkers.
Wright is being held without bail in the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail.