An Ohio mother who police say tried to abandon her 6-year-old son at a local park, dragged him along the pavement when he tried to get back into the car, then dumped the boy’s lifeless body in a river the following day, confessed to killing the child but has shown little remorse, the Middletown police chief revealed Monday.
Brittany Gosney, 29, is charged with murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Cops say Gosney’s two other children—both of whom are second-graders—were in the car at the time of the killing, but were not harmed. They have since been placed in foster care, according to authorities.
“This has really touched my soul and my heart,” Police Chief David Birk said at a Monday press conference. “My kids are older, but my youngest is 16, but I’m just sitting there, you know, the poor six-year-old has no idea what’s going on and what’s happening, and for the other kids to go through this too. It’s just heartbreaking.”
Birk said Gosney indicated that she had planned to abandon the other two, as well. Gosney reportedly lost custody of a fourth child who has been under the state’s care since before the 6-year-old’s killing.
An arrest report provided to The Daily Beast by the Middletown PD says Gosney “admitted to taking her son, James Robert Hutchinson, to Rush Run Park in Preble County, where she placed him outside of her vehicle.” After forcing him out of the car, Gosney told Detective John Hoover that the boy “attempted to get back in the vehicle and she drove off at a high rate of speed, dragging the child for a distance. The defendant then left the park and returned approximately 30 to 40 minutes later finding the child in the middle of the parking lot with a head injury.”
Gosney then took her son’s remains back home, and placed the body in an upstairs bedroom.
“The following day she drove to the Ohio River and disposed of the child’s body in the river,” the report says.
Gosney’s boyfriend, James Russell Hamilton, 42, is accused of helping Gosney dump her son’s body after the fact. He is facing charges of abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. Bail for Gosney was set at $1 million cash; Hamilton’s was set at $105,000. Both remain in custody, Middletown Police Department spokesperson Shelby Quinlivan told The Daily Beast.
Gosney and Hamilton showed up at the police station around 10:15 a.m. Sunday morning to report her son missing, said Birk. He sensed something was wrong from the start, because the two couldn’t get their stories straight. Birk described the situation as “just red flags all over,”
A few hours later, the two allegedly confessed. The child’s body has not yet been recovered.
“I’m so heartbroken I don’t care if I had a million dollars I would not get her out but he is involved more than what’s being said he should get the same,” a man identified as Gosney’s stepfather posted to his Facebook page on Monday.
In a letter to families of children at Rosa Parks Elementary School, where James Hutchinson attended first grade, Principal Tracy Neely wrote: “We are all mourning the loss of our friend James today. James was a happy and joyful soul who loved school. On the days he was in class, he would give hugs to all his teachers as he walked into school. A fun memory I have is the way his face would light up when he won the lucky lunch tray! First graders can find the joy in just about anything. I will always remember his bright joy.”
The school will hold a celebration of life for James Hutchinson at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday. Gosney and Hamilton are due back in court on March 8.