Authorities discover new evidence in Mendota murders case



UPDATE: Seventy-five federal, state and local authorities searched a 40 acre area of land near where two other victims were found.

During the search, law enforcement officers found evidence but no information was given on what the evidence is or its significance to the investigation. 

This is a developing story. Check for updates on News Channel 11 tonight at 5 and 


Wednesday afternoon authorities gathered in Mendota searching for additional clues in a string of murders that happened in that community earlier this year.

Washington County, Virginia Sheriff Fred Newman told News Channel 11 his deputies, along with U.S. Marshals, were searching near the area where the victims were found in the Mendota community.

In May, authorities revealed at a news conference James Wright, 23, confessed to killing multiple women.

SEE ALSO: Authorities: Suspect admits to killing three women

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

Authorities have recovered the bodies of two victims in connection to Wright, but they still have not recovered the body of the third victim, Athina Hopson. 

Sheriff Newman said Wednesday they have not found a body, rather they were looking for additional clues in this case and looking to see if there was anything they had missed.

CONTINUING COVERAGE: Mother of Mendota murder victim Athina Hopson speaks out

He anticipated crews being in the Mendota area searching for a majority of the day.

Earlier this month members of the Black Diamond Water Rescue and the Washington County Lifesaving Crew were searching on the North Fork Holston River.

We asked Sheriff Newman Wednesday when they would resume searching in the river.

MORE: Authorities: School bus crash may have saved others from suspected serial killer

He said they are still waiting to see when will be a good time because it can be difficult to search the river on the banks due to the terrain.

Sheriff Newman added that when they search the river they will need to utilize boats and crews in the air as well.

News Channel 11 will continue to update you as we follow this developing story.

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