Four months after a Middletown boy was allegedly killed by his mother and disposed of in the Ohio River, people continue to donate to a memorial fund established by Middletown officials.
The Middletown City School District, Middletown Police Department, the City of Middletown and local faith-based support groups opened the “James You Are Loved” Memorial Fund at First Financial Bank in March just a few days after 6-year-old James Hutchinson was killed, allegedly when his mother Brittany Gosney ran over him while in the process of abandoning three children at a Preble County nature park.
The purpose of the fund is to provide monetary support for James Hutchinson’s two siblings, Rachel and Lucas. All donations received will go to the siblings. The proceeds will not be used for funeral expenses, as the arrangements have been donated if and when the boy’s body is found, officials said.
James was allegedly killed by Gosney on Feb. 26 before she and her boyfriend, James Hamilton, disposed of his body in the river two days later, according to police and court documents. He was a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary School in Middletown.
Gosney told police she planned to abandon all three children at Rush Run during the early-morning hours when she ran over James when he tried to get back in her vehicle. The siblings were with her at the time and have since been removed from the home.
Gosney and Hamilton are in the Butler County Jail awaiting separate trials in the fall on a combined indictment of 31 charges Gosney is charged with murder.
Pastor Lamar Ferrell of Berachah Church in Middletown said the church has taken stewardship over the fund, which has grown to more than $28,000. The children are in foster care, and church leaders have not yet been able to meet with the foster family.
“We said at the very beginning, we wanted to help in any way and host the funeral or memorial service,” Ferrell said. “We have also worked the schools for years so we where honored to be able to take the fund and be a clearinghouse to help with any needs for the siblings.”
Middletown Police Chief David Birk and Preble County Sheriff Michael Simpson said groups periodically search for James’ body in the Ohio River, but the strong current and the murky depth of the water make searching challenging.
“The search continues. Not on a continuous bases, but they continue to search for James,” Birk said.
He added that based on separate questioning of Gosney and Hamilton about the body disposal, they feel certain James’ body went into the Ohio River.
Donations can still be made to the fund. School officials also plan to place a memorial bench outside the elementary school as a remembrance.
How to donate:
- Visit or send an e-check to any First Financial Bank Branch using the name “James You Are Loved Memorial Fund.”
- Mail a physical check to Middletown City School District, One Donham Plaza, 4th Floor, Middletown, OH 45042 to the attention of “James You Are Loved Memorial Fund.”
- Online at https://www.paypal.com/donate?hosted_button_id=UHS9F3LY8UT4Y