An alleged traveling carnival worker has been charged in the deaths of three women, one whom was a teenager.
James Michael Wright of Virginia faces three counts of capital murder, authorities said in a Monday statement to NBC News. The 23-year-old is accused of fatally shooting Elizabeth Vanmeter of Tennessee, Athina Hopson of Tennessee and Joslyn Alsup of Georgia.
The women were between the ages of 17 and 25. The shootings are suspected to have taken place between Feb. 28 and March 17, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s office. (RELATED: 13-Year-Old Girl Dies Following Brutal Beating On Her Way Home From School)
Wright reportedly confessed to all three shootings, but told detectives that they were accidental. County Sheriff Fred Newman said he “found that hard to believe.”
The 23-year-old from Mendota, Virginia, allegedly told investigators that the killings were accidental, but the Washington County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office “found that hard to believe.” https://t.co/nzDpagVhlc
— NBCWashington (@nbcwashington) May 14, 2019
Authorities have recovered the body of Vanmeter and Alsup, but the third woman’s body has yet to be found. The identification of the bodies comes solely from Wright’s confession, authorities said.
“Through his employment as a sub-contract worker for the James H. Drew Carnival, Wright became acquainted with the women,” a statement from the sheriff’s office said. A follow up statement from the sheriff’s office clarified that Wright worked for “Pony Express,” a subcontractor that provided livestock to the carnival.
The company that organizes the amusement park denies ever employing Wright. Authorities are also looking into other locations for reports of missing women.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article stated that Wright was employed by the James H. Drew Carnival. According to the sheriff and multiple reports, he was employed by a subcontractor that provided the carnival with livestock. The copy has been updated for clarity.