MIDDLETOWN — The search continues for the body of 6-year-old James Hutchinson, who was dumped in the Ohio River in Middletown after being killed in Preble County on Friday, Feb. 26.
According to a press release from the Middletown Police Division on Sunday evening, Hutchinson’s mother, Brittany Gosney, 29, has been charged with murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Her boyfriend, James Hamilton, 42, has been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Both were arraigned in Middletown on Monday, March 1, and pleaded not guilty. Gosney’s bond was set at $1 million, while Hamilton’s was set at $100,000. Their first appearance in court is set for Monday, March 8, at 1:30 p.m.
According to court documents obtained by WXIX in Cincinnati, Gosney drove to Rush Run Wildlife, a Preble County wildlife area south of Camden, Friday night to abandon Hutchinson before running over him when he tried to get back in the car.
Gosney told Middletown police she sped off and dragged Hutchinson for an unspecified distance before returning about 30 to 40 minutes later.
Hutchinson was then found dead by Gosney in the parking lot, reportedly with a head injury.
Middletown Police Chief David Birk reported during a press conference Monday that Hutchinson’s body was then returned to the family’s home in Middletown before Gosney and Hamilton disposed of his body in the Ohio River near the I-275 bridge Saturday night.
Birk, who was joined by Middletown City Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles and Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson, said that all three children under Gosney’s custody were in the vehicle on Friday, and Gosney intended to leave all three in the Preble County park.
According to Birk, the two other children in the household, both second graders, are now in foster care.
Birk added that Gosney is “not showing much remorse” and is not saying what her motive was.
Children Services had previously been involved with the family, according to Birk. Additionally, a fourth child had been previously adopted out of the family.
In an earlier press release on Sunday, Birk said Gosney reported Hutchinson missing on Sunday morning around 10:15 a.m.
The press release continued: “The Middletown Division of Police would like to thank the many people that came out to help search for James and the organized search teams that responded.
“Sadly, upon further questioning of Brittany Gosney and her boyfriend, James Hamilton, they now say that James was killed in Preble County a few days ago. The child’s body was brought back to Middletown, where they live, and later put into the Ohio River.
“We will be working with trained searchers in an attempt to recover James’ body,” Birk said in the release. “The river is very high and treacherous, so we will not be disclosing the exact location in hopes of avoiding another tragic incident.”
A celebration of life for Hutchinson was scheduled for Tuesday at Barnitz Stadium behind Rosa Parks Elementary, the school Hutchinson attended before his death.
Reach Eddie Mowen Jr. at 937-638-4061 or follow on Twitter @emowenjr