Relatives mourning the loss of 6-year-old James Hutchinson have expressed shock and disbelief after his mother confessed to her son’s brutal killing.
Brittany Gosney, 29, reported James missing from his Middletown, Ohio, home on Sunday morning, telling police that he had disappeared overnight while she and her boyfriend were sleeping. But upon further police questioning, Gosney reportedly admitted that she killed her son and tossed his body in the Ohio River the next day, with the help of her boyfriend, 42-year-old James Hamilton.
According to court documents obtained by CrimeOnline, Gosney told police that she had taken James to Rush Run Park in Preble County late last week, and told the boy that she was going to leave him there. As she drove away, the little boy apparently clung to the door of the vehicle and was dragged “for a distance” before the vehicle left the park. Gosney reportedly returned about 30 to 40 minutes later to find James dead of a head injury. She told police she put his body in her car, which a relative says is a minivan, and drove back home where she and Hamilton kept the boy’s body in an upstairs bedroom overnight before driving to Indiana the next day and tossing his remains into the Ohio River.
Investigators are continuing their efforts to recover James’ body from the river. Gosney has been charged with murder and is being held on $1 million bond. Hamilton, who reportedly denied being present at the time of James’ death, has been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence, and is in custody on $105,000 bail. A Middletown police spokesperson confirmed that both defendants have been assigned public defenders.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police said Gosney’s two other young children were in the vehicle at the time of James’ death, and at the home where the defendants kept his body overnight. At a press conference Monday, Middletown police said they believe Gosney was initially planning to abandon all three children at Rush Run Park.
Priscilla Farley is James’s aunt and the estranged wife of James Hamilton. She told CrimeOnline that her brother Lewis Hutchinson and his family–Gosney, James, and Gosney’s two other children–lived at her home for several months beginning last year. During this time, her sister-in-law and her husband began an affair, Farley said. This led to the breakdown of both of their marriages, and Gosney and Hamilton have been a couple ever since, though both remain legally married to their estranged spouses.
Farley and Hamilton do not have any biological children together, but she said he raised her daughter as his own since the girl was about six months old. While Farley claims that Hamilton was sometimes an abusive husband, he “never once harmed” her daughter. Still, Farley says she suspects Hamilton was in fact in the minivan at the time of James’ death.
The boy’s aunt said that her family, including James’s father, have not seen James or the other children since spring 2020. She said that police ordered Lewis Hutchinson to give his son to Gosney sometime before May. Since then, Farley claims that Gosney has on multiple occasions contacted Hutchinson and Gosney’s sister to come take the children, but has changed her mind once either arrived to pick up the children.
Farley insists that Gosling had access to multiple people who would have taken James and/or his half-siblings in, including Farley herself. She said she doesn’t understand why things turned out the way they did, when Gosling had other options.
“[James] was a perfect kid … the most joyful child you’ve ever want to meet,” Farley said.
Brittany Gosney’s sister Heather Gosney told Fox 19 that she is not convinced Brittany acted alone in killing James.
“I didn’t see how she’s going to make murder her first charge ever in her life,” Heather Gosney said “But, if it does come down to where they prove her … 100% guilty, then I have no choice but to believe it.”
The sister also said that Brittany had blocked her immediate family from communication about a month before James was killed. Heather told the news station she had last spoken to her nephew on a video call not long before she and other family members were blocked.
Heather Gosney said she suspects James Hamilton might have been behind her sister’s decision to cut off contact with her family, and called her nephew’s loss “heartbreaking.”
“[James] was a very, very sweet little boy,” Heather told Fox 19. “Like every time he would walk into a room, he would light up the room.”
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