The father of James Hutchinson has said he would have taken custody of his 6-year-old son if the boy’s mother did not want to care for him, as police continue to investigate the boy’s apparent murder — without yet having found his body.
James’ mother Brittany Gosney, 29, has been charged with murder and is in custody in Middletown, Ohio, on $1 million bond. Her boyfriend, 42-year-old James Hamilton, is also in custody, on charges of tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse. Gosney and Hamilton reported James missing on Sunday morning, but during police questioning, Gosney confessed that she had killed her son.
According to police records obtained from the Middletown Division of Police and the Preble County Sheriff’s Office, Gosney told police that she brought James and his two half-siblings, ages 7 and 9, to Rush Run Park in Preble County in the early hours of Saturday morning with the intention of abandoning all three children there. She reportedly told police that Hamilton wanted her to “get rid of her kids.”
READ MORE: Mother tells her son she’s abandoning him at a park; 6-year-old dies clinging to her car as she drives away
After removing James from the car and telling him that she was leaving him there, James reportedly clung to the minivan as she drove away from a parking lot. Gosney said she dragged him with her car and may have run him over. A Preble County Sheriff’s report based on information provided by Middetown Police indicates that James’ two siblings were also outside the car when Gosney drove away. That report also states that detectives found “no viable evidence” of the crime at the parking lot at Rush Run Park or the vicinity.
There are apparent discrepancies between the sheriff’s report and information provided by Middletown Police about whether Gosney left the parking lot. At some point, either shortly after James was dragged or 30-40 minutes later, Gosney purportedly found James dead with a head injury in the parking lot. She told police that she then put his body into the minivan and drove back to her Middletown home, where she and Hamilton kept his body in a spare bedroom until early Sunday morning. They then drove his body across state lines and tossed him into the Ohio River, apparently leaving Gosney’s two other children alone in the house.
Authorities have yet to find James’ body, and the river search has been suspended since Monday due to dangerous water levels. It is unclear when the search of the river will resume. Preble County Sheriff Michael Simpson told CrimeOnline that his agency is not searching for James’ body in any other locations at this time, and that his department will aid in the river search when it resumes. He declined to comment about whether investigators believe Gosney’s claims about how James died, citing the ongoing investigation.
On Tuesday, a Middletown Police spokesperson told CrimeOnline that “the defendant [Gosney] has adjusted the timeline throughout the investigation.”
James’ father told WRKC staff that he and other family members would have gladly taken James in.
“All she had to do was give him to me,” said Lewis Hutchinson. “She could have dropped him off at my sister’s house. I don’t understand what would drive somebody to be a monster like that.”
It is not yet clear if a court awarded Gosney custody of her children after she and her husband separated sometime in the last year. CrimeOnline is working to confirm reports about the custody arrangement.
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