Middletown chief: Ohio River still too high to search for 6-year-old James Hutchinson

Credit: Journal News

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Vigils were held at Gardner Park on March 1 and Barnitz Stadium on March 2 for James Hutchinson.

Credit: Journal News

The Ohio River, for the second straight day, is too high and dangerous for search and rescue teams to try to locate a 6-year-old Middletown boy who allegedly was killed by his mother last week, then dumped into the river, said Middletown police Chief David Birk.

Birk said the water level of the river will be checked daily to determine whether it’s safe to search for James Hutchinson, a first-grader at Rosa Parks Elementary School.

James’ mother Brittany Gosney, 29, of the 500 block of Crawford Street, is charged with murder, abuse of corpse and tampering with evidence. Her boyfriend, James Hamilton, 42, is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Gosney reported James missing about 10:15 a.m. Sunday to Middletown police, but further questioning by detectives led to her arrest and admission the boy was dead. She told police that she and Hamilton drove James to Lawrenceburg, Ind. and dumped his body in the river.

If the river continues rising it may be days until rescue teams can enter the water. The river is expected to crest at 54.5 feet on Thursday morning, according to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Wilmington. That’s the highest since the river measured at 55.46 feet on Feb. 13, 2019 in Cincinnati, according to the NWS.

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