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Johnson City, Carter County women believed to be victims of Virginia serial killer

Rain Smith, Kingsport Times News • Updated May 14, 2019 at 9:28 AM

ABINGDON, Va. — From late February through mid-March, a Southwest Virginia man is alleged to have fatally shot three women, two of whom were reported missing from Northeast Tennessee.

James Michael Wright, 23, of 3473 Mendota Road, reportedly met his victims through his work as a subcontractor with the James H. Drew Carnival. During a Monday press conference at the Washington County Virginia Sheriff’s Office, Sheriff Fred Newman categorized Wright as a serial killer — and didn’t rule out the possibility of additional victims.

“We’re working with the carnival to make a determination of the location that they set up the carnivals and attempt to see if there are people reported missing from those jurisdictions,” said Newman.

Investigation of Wright was initiated by Johnson City police. On March 21, Athina Hopson, 25, was reported missing by her mother. According to Johnson City Police Chief Karl Turner, Hopson was last seen with Wright when he picked her up in the city and she willingly left with him. More about Wright’s arrest and victim Elizabeth Marie Vanmeter of Carter County from the Kingsport Times News.

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