COBB COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - A carnival worker is being called a serial killer. Police said 23-year-old James Wright killed three women in 18 days, one of them was a teenager from Marietta.
The body of 17-year-old Joycelyn Alsup was found buried in Wright's yard in Washington County, Virginia. Investigators said Wright confessed to killer Alsup as well as two women from Tennessee. Police said both 22-year-old Elizabeth Vanmeter and 25-year-old Athena Hopson were both shot to death.
Alsup's mother, Cynthia Butterworth, said when she saw a photo of Wright she recognized him immediately.
"I saw his pictured and I was like I know him, he's the pony guy from the fair," said Butterworth.
Police said Wright traveled around the Southeast with carnivals. Butterworth said she met him last September at the North Georgia State Fair.
"Joycelyn loved the fun, the carnival, the ponies, that was the main thing, the ponies, she loved animals," said Butterworth.
Police said Wright met all his victims while working at carnivals. Joycelyn's brother and father both met Wright because they also worked at the fair when it was in town.
"Her brother really taking it hard. He wished to God he didn't work at the fair, he wished we didn't go to the fair," said Butterworth.
Butterworth said her daughter was 17 and trusted everyone. She believes Wright took advantage of that.
"He shot her and left her, and I'm sure he knew we were looking for her. I'm so furious, I hate to say this but an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth," said Butterworth.
Butterworth said she fears there could be more victims that haven't been discovered yet. Investigators said they have talked to the carnival company and traced its route to see if there are any missing person cases at locations where the carnival stopped.