Traveling carnival worker confesses to murder of two missing Tennessee women, Georgia teen

James Wright-Washington County Sheriff's Office

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) --A Virginia traveling carnival worker has been charged in the murder of two missing Tennessee women and a Georgia teen.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office reported on Monday 23-year-old James Michael Wright has been charged with three counts of capital murder in the cases.

According to the WCSO, the department was contacted by the Johnson City (Tennessee) Police Department, for assistance in the missing persons case of Athina Hopson.

The 25-year-old Hopson had last been seen with Wright and a search warrant was issued. Investigators from Johnson City interviewed wright last Thursday, at which time he confessed to shooting and killing Hopson, Elizabeth Vanmeter (22) of Carter County, Tennessee, and 17-year-old Joslyn Alsup of Cobb County Georgia.

According to police, Wright dumped Hopson's body into a Virginia river after he was driving her body in the back of his truck and her body fell out of the truck and down an embankment near the river.

During the search of his property, police say the remains of what are believed to be his other two victims were recovered. A firearm believed to have been used in the murders was also recovered. The Washington County Sheriff's Office says Wright is claiming all the murders were accidental.

Wright, who was a sub-contractor with the James H. Drew Carnival, met the women through his work according to police. The 17-year-old was the daughter of one of his coworkers.

Police are investigating Wright's activities while traveling with the carnival. Anyone with information is asked to call 276-676-6000.

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