Search for body of 6-year-old James Hutchinson remains suspended due to dangerous water conditions

The search for the body of a 6-year-old boy will not resume on Thursday as water levels in the Ohio River remain high, with conditions too dangerous for search teams.

A spokesperson for the Middletown Division of Police confirmed that a river search for the body of James Hutchinson remains suspended on Thursday. The search was suspended earlier this week due to”flood stage” conditions with high water levels.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, James Hutchinson’s mother Britney Gosney told police that she killed the boy on Saturday as she was trying to abandon the 6-year-old and his two half-siblings at Rush Run Wildlife Park in Preble County. According to her account, James hung on to her minivan as she drove away from a parking, and was dragged or possibly run over. At some point, possibly after leaving the park for 30-40 minutes, Gosney reportedly found the boy dead with a head injury. She told police she then put his body in her vehicle, along with her two surviving children, and drove about 30 minutes to their home in Middletown, which she also shared with her boyfriend James Hamilton.

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

Gosney, 29, told police that she and Hamilton kept the boy’s body in a spare bedroom until early Sunday morning, when they drove his body to the Indiana side of the Ohio River and tossed it into the river. Later that morning, Gosling and Hamilton went to the police station to report her son missing. The same day, Gosney confessed during police questioning that she had killed her son.

Gosney has been charged with murder and is in custody in Middletown on $1 million bail. Hamilton, 42, was arrested on charges of tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse, and remains in custody.

Police documents from the Preble County Sheriff’s Office show that Gosney said Hamilton was pressuring her to “get rid of” her children. Hamilton has reportedly denied being in the minivan, which is registered to his name, at the time of the attempted abandonment and James’ death.

The sheriff’s incident report also shows that investigators found “no viable evidence” of the reported crime in the immediate area of the parking lot where James is believed to have been killed.

A Middletown spokesperson told CrimeOnline earlier this week that “the defendant [Gosney] has adjusted the timeline throughout the investigation.”

The Preble County Sheriff declined to answer a question about whether investigators believe Gosney’s account of the presumed murder, citing the ongoing investigation.

As Fox 19 reports, the Butler County Sheriff’s office is also aiding Middletown police with the investigation. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones told the news station on Wednesday that river conditions are “too dangerous to risk someone’s life to get into the water.”

“At this stage, it’s not a rescue, it’s a retrieval. I know that’s a harsh thing to say. It’s frustrating. All of us first responders want to find this little boy and give closure to the community and for the little boy’s sake …  He’s one of God’s little angels now and he’s feeling no pain, but we’ve got to find him and give it closure and so we are making everything, every piece of equipment we have, available if they need it and when they need it whether it be tomorrow, Friday or throughout the weekend.”

Middletown Police Chief David Birk told Fox 19 that he believes the little boy’s body is in the Ohio River, because it’s one of the  “few consistent pieces of information” the co-defendants have provided investigators, the report states.

CrimeOnline will provide further updates when more information is available.

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