'Unusual red flags' lead to horrific twist after mum reports boy missing

Josh Dutton
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A mum reported her son missing after allegedly murdering him and dumping his body in a river.

Police were searching for James Hutchinson, 6, after his 29-year-old mum, Brittany Gosney, reported him missing on Sunday morning (local time) in Middletown, in the US state of Ohio.

But after speaking with Gosney and her 42-year-old partner, James Hamilton, police found the six-year-old had died a few days earlier in Preble County before his body was brought back to Middletown and dumped in the Ohio River.

Gosney has been charged with murder, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

James Hutchinson, 6, is pictured.
James Hutchinson, 6, was allegedly murdered by his mum and dumped in a river. Source: Middletown Division of Police

Hamilton has been charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Two of James’s siblings have been removed from Gosney and Hamilton’s care.

Boy's 'unusual' disappearance

Middletown police chief David Birk told reporters the case was “unusual” as Gosney and her partner told officers on Sunday morning James had been missing since Saturday night.

“The whole situation was just red flags all over,” he said, according to 9abc WCPO.

Chief Birk also said the mum was "not showing much remorse at this time".

“But she has confessed to doing this. That’s why we were able to get the charges," he told reporters.

The police chief said James’s body was yet to be found and recovered from the river, and police will know more after an autopsy. The recovery mission has proved difficult due to the river’s conditions.

When asked if Gosney gave a reason for allegedly murdering her boy, Chief Birk replied: “Not really.

“It’s a complicated situation.

“She’s not really saying what the motive was.”

Brittany Gosney, 29, and James Hamilton, 42, are pictured in police mugshots.
Brittany Gosney, 29, and James Hamilton, 42, will face court after the six-year-old's death. Source: Middletown Division of Police

Chief Birk said there were “conflicting stories” about what happened to James before he died, but it was believed he did not die in Middletown.

He said James’s body was dumped in the river on either Saturday night or early Sunday morning, while his siblings were sleeping.

Gosney wanted to leave James and her two other children in Preble County, he said.

“Children’s Services have been involved with the family in the past,” Chief Birk said.

“They have bumped around from hotels, different areas. They were in and out of Middletown School District.

“No six-year-old deserves this. This is heartbreaking for all of us.”

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