ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — Authorities in Virginia have linked the slayings of two missing women and a missing teenage girl to a carnival worker who met the victims through the traveling show.

The sheriff's office in rural Washington County announced Monday that 23-year-old James Michael Wright is charged with murder. He's accused of fatally shooting the three in February and March.

Sheriff Fred Newman identified the victims as 25-year-old Athina Hopson of Johnson City, Tennessee; 22-year-old Elizabeth Marie Vanmeter of Carter County, Tennessee; and 17-year-old Joslyn M. Alsup of Cobb County, Georgia.

Newman said in a statement that Johnson City police had reported Hopson was last seen with Wright. Newman said Wright confessed to the shootings but called them accidental.

Defense attorney Barry Proctor said he's met with Wright but can't discuss their conversation.

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