Family member of killer’s victim says she was ‘loving’ and caring

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- Hours before authorities revealed more about a reported serial killer and his victims in Washington County, Virginia, News Channel 11 spoke to one of the victim’s family members.

Blake Lipton sat down with Alyssa Chapman, the cousin of Athina Hopson. 

Chapman reported Hopson missing back in March.

“Loving, she would never hurt anybody,” Chapman said about Hopson on Monday. 

Chapman said she was letting Hopson stay at her Johnson City apartment back in March, when one day, Athina got in the car with 23-year-old James Wright.

“He had contacted her asking her if she could come down to his house to clean his house,” she said.

Hopson was supposed return on March 18th.

Chapman tried contacting Hopson multiple times through social media.

She filed a missing persons report with Johnson City police on March 21st.

“Whenver he came up to the house to pick her up,” said Chapman, “I was asleep.”

Chapman says she knew little about Wright, but tried to contact him as well. 

According to the police report, she saw on Facebook that Wright had been in a serious head-on collision. 

Wright then told her that he had dropped her cousin at the apartment the next day and that’s why he got into the wreck. 

“Our investigation was initiated upon a request into the Hopson case,” said Cpt. James Blevins of the Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Department, “and the information gained from that initial interview regarding Ms. Hopson led to the information about the other victims.”

The Washington County, Virginia Sheriff’s Department said Hopson’s case helped lead to answers about two other women reported missing.

Investigators say Wright also killed them.

“She cared for everybody,” said Chapman. “She would give the shirt off her back.”

On Monday, authorities revealed that Hopson was, in fact, one of James Wright’s victims.

Authorities revealed that Wright admitted to killing three women in Washington County, Virginia.

In the case of Athina Hopson, authorities said Wright confessed to shooting and killing her 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.

Authorities: Traveling carnival worker serial killer admits to killing three women

While authorities said they have found two other victims connected to Wright, they were still searching for Athina Hopson’s body.

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