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Mother accused of killing 6-year-old son, dumping body in river, police say

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Posted at 2:03 PM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 14:04:12-05

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — A local mother accused of killing her 6-year-old son drove him to a park, told him she was leaving him there and drove off with the boy clinging to the car, “dragging the child for a distance,” according to court documents.

Brittany Gosney, 29, told police that she left Rush Run Park in Preble County after she dragged her son, James Hutchinson, with her car.

She returned about 30 minutes later and found him dead in the middle of the parking lot, court documents said.

Gosney then picked up her son’s body and drove to a residence where she lives with her boyfriend, James Hamilton.

She kept his body in an upstairs bedroom until the next day, when she dumped it in the Ohio River, police said. The body has not yet been recovered.

Gosney is charged with murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Hamilton, 42, is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Two other children have been removed from the home, police said.

Middletown police initially posted to social media on Sunday asking for the public's help in finding Hutchinson, who they believed was missing.

Later Sunday evening, the department said in a press release that Gosney and Hamilton had told them the boy was killed in Preble County days ago.

Middletown police said they plan to search the river for Hutchinson's body, but they're not disclosing where the search will occur because the river is currently high and dangerous.

Hutchison was a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary School, where principal Tracy Neeley described him as a happy, outgoing student.

"We are all mourning the loss of our friend James today," she wrote in a statement Monday morning. "James was a happy and joyful soul who loved school. On the days he was in class, he would give hugs to all his teachers as he walked into school. A fun memory I have is the way his face would light up when he won the lucky lunch tray! First graders can find the joy in just about anything. I will always remember his bright joy."

Gosney and Hamilton are scheduled to appear in court at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

This story was first published by Madeline Fening, Felicia Jordan, and Abby Dawn at WCPO.