Crime And Law

Divers searching Ohio River Wednesday for body of James Hutchinson

LAWRENCEBURG, IND. — Recovery efforts for the body of James Hutchinson continued Wednesday with divers entering the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana in search for the boy’s body.

>>PREVIOUS REPORT: Trial dates set for mother, boyfriend charged in James Hutchinson’s death

Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson confirmed the dive team was in the river searching today. This marks the first time during the recovery efforts that a dive team has been able to enter the river since search efforts started Feb. 28.

>>RELATED: Butler Co. Children Services had no prior contact with James Hutchinson’s family, prosecutors say

High river levels have been one of the issues hampering the recovery after Hutchinson’s body was thrown into the river from the I-275 bridge. Search efforts have been suspended multiple times after heavy rains and snow melt brought the river levels above flood stage.

>>RELATED: Timeline: How the investigation into James Hutchinson’s death unfolded

After river levels dropped late last week, recovery efforts resumed last weekend but were unsuccessful.

>>Search for 6-year-old James Hutchinson continues, body still not recovered

Investigators allege Hutchinson’s mother, Brittany Gosney, 29, of Middletown, was responsible for the boy’s death. Previously, police said Gosney drove Hutchinson and his two siblings to Rush Run Wildlife Area in Preble County in the early morning hours of Feb. 27 to abandon them at the park.

>>Mother, boyfriend accused in death of 6-year-old indicted on 31 felonies

According to investigative records, Gosney said she intended to abandon the children after feeling pressure from her boyfriend, James Hamilton, 42, to do so.

>>PHOTOS: Middletown Schools hold vigil for James Hutchinson

While trying to leave the children, Hutchinson grabbed ahold of the vehicle as Gosney tried to drive away, which led to the boy’s death. Police said Gosney and Hamilton then drove the boy’s body to Lawrenceburg about a day later and disposed of it into the river.

Gosney and Hamilton were indicted by a Butler County grand jury on 31 combined charges. Gosney faces 16 charges including murder, involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, child endangering, kidnapping and gross abuse of a corpse. Hamilton faces 15 charges including, kidnapping, gross abuse of a corpse, child endangering, tampering with evidence and abduction.

The couple made court appearances earlier this week with bond set at $2 million for Gosney and $750,000 for Hamilton. Trial dates have preliminary been set for May 24.

OTHER COVERAGE:

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>>Recovery efforts for James Hutchinson suspended due to Ohio River levels