Crime And Law

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

MIDDLETOWN — Middletown police are continuing their investigation into the death of a James Hutchinson, the 6-year-old boy who police said was killed by his mother and his body dumped in the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

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Hutchinson’s mother, Brittany Gosney, 29, and her boyfriend, James Hamilton, 42, are both facing charges in the child’s death. Gosney is facing preliminary charges of murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Hamilton has been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

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The following is a timeline of events from Saturday morning through Monday afternoon, as detailed in court records and information released by investigators.

Sat. Feb. 27:

Around 3 a.m.: Gosney drives her three children, ages 9, 7, and 6 to Rush Run Wildlife Area in southern Preble County. Gosney told investigators she drove them to this park with the intention of abandoning all three of them, according to investigators. She stated to investigators she was familiar with the area because she and Hamilton had taken the children there before to go fishing.

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“Brittany stated she had planned to get the kids out of the vehicle and to leave them behind as Hamilton had been pressuring her to get rid of the kids,” Preble County investigators said in an incident report.

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When all three kids were out of the car, Gosney tried to drive away, but Hutchinson grabbed the door handle to the minivan, investigators said in the report.

“Brittany slammed the gas trying to leave the kids and drug Hutchinson, possibly running him over. Brittany turned the vehicle around to check on Hutchinson and he was dead,” investigators said in the Preble County incident report.

Gosney then loaded the two alive children and Hutchinson’s body and drove back to Hamilton’s home in Middletown on Crawford Street.

Hutchinson’s body was placed into a spare bedroom in the house beneath a window.

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Sun. Feb. 28:

Around 3 a.m.: Middletown police said Gosney and Hamilton waited until after the two other kids were asleep during the overnight hours.

While the kids were sleeping, Gosney and Hamilton drove from Middletown to Lawrenceburg, Indiana to dispose of Hutchinson’s body.

Records indicate Gosney and Hamilton said they threw the child’s body into the river from the I-275 bridge that crosses the Ohio River.

Around 10:15 a.m.: Gosney and Hamilton arrive at the Middletown Department of Police to report that Hutchinson is missing. The two told Middletown police they had not seen Hutchinson for several hours and were searching for him.

11:26 a.m.: Middletown police take to social media to ask for the public’s assistance in locating Hutchinson, who is deemed a missing juvenile.

Sunday Afternoon: Middletown investigators deemed Gosney and Hamilton’s claims as “suspicious” and requested detectives to help investigate.

“During conversations with police, law enforcement became suspicious they were not getting the entire story. They separated Brittany and Hamilton and both provided different stories,” Preble County investigators logged in their report.

During further questioning, Middletown police said Gosney admitted to killing Hutchinson and dumped his body in the Ohio River.

Gosney is transported to Rush Run Wildlife Area by Middletown police to meet with Preble County investigators. Gosney was driven there to show both investigating agencies where the incident happened that led to Hutchinson’s death.

Preble County investigators took photos of the parking lot where it happened, completed a diagram and made measurements.

“The immediate area and parking lot was checked and no viable evidence was located,” Preble County investigators said in their report.

2:35 p.m.: Middletown police provide an update on the missing child investigation on social media.

“We are no longer looking in the Crawford Street area. New information has led us outside the city limits. Thank you for your assistance,” a police spokesperson said in the social media message.

9:30 p.m.: Middletown police announce in a press release that Gosney and Hamilton have been arrested on charges stemming from Hutchinson’s death. Gosney is charged with murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Hamilton charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Police also announce they are searching in the Ohio River, at the time at an undisclosed location, where Hutchinson’s body was suspected to have been dumped.

Both Gosney and Hamilton are jailed into the Middletown City Jail.

Monday March 1

1:30 p.m.: Gosney and Hamilton make court appearances in Middletown Municipal Court. Both enter not guilty pleas. Gosney’s bond is set at $1 million and Hamilton’s bond set at $100,000.

2:30 p.m.: Middletown Police Chief David Birk, Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson, and Middletown City Schools Superintendent Marlon Styles hold a news conference to release new details into the investigation and planned memorials for Hutchinson.

Among things released in the press conference are the location of the recovery efforts of Hutchinson’s body, as Birk says crews are still working in Lawrenceburg to recover his body.

Birk also said that Gosney “is not showing much remorse at this time.”

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