23-year-old Virginia man confesses to killing multiple women

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23-year-old James Wright was facing charges after he admitted to killing multiple people and dumping their bodies in the North Fork Holston River. 

All three women had been reported missing between the dates of February 28, 2019, and March 17, 2019. 

  • Wright told investigators he shot and killed Elizabeth Vanmeter after they had a fight on February 28. Wright confessed to burying her body near his home in Mendota. Vanmeter was reported missing from Carter County on March 17. A caretaker said she had not been seen since February 28. 

  • Wright confessed to shooting and killing a 17-year-old girl on March 9. She is referred to as “J.A.” in court documents. Wright said he shot her after they had sexual intercourse in the woods near his home. Wright claimed he was trying to shoot an animal when he shot her instead. Wright told investigators he covered her body with logs next to a creek near his home. J.A. had been reported missing from Cobb County, GA on March 8. 

  • Wright confessed to shooting and killing Athina Hopson while they were on a walk on March 17. Wright told investigators he tripped and fell and shot her in the head near his home. Wright said he put her body in the back of his truck to take it to the hospital. Wright told investigators Hopson’s body fell out of his truck while he was driving over a bridge on Nordyke Road. Wright claimed he could not retrieve her body and left it in the river instead. Hopson had been reported missing from Johnson City on March 21. According to JCPD, she also went by Athina Huff.

Wright told investigators he used a .22 caliber rifle in all three shootings. 

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