MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Neko Lattimore was watching TV in December when he heard his brother was reportedly missing and possibly thrown alive into the Ohio River in Cincinnati.
So he called his great aunt, Marcia Cooper, 59, who was at the grocery store.
“We just kept hoping he was alive,” she said.
On Sunday, rescue crews spent nearly six hours searching the Ohio River for the bodies of 3-year-old Nylo Lattimore and 6-year-old James Hutchinson, both of whom allegedly were thrown into the river. Neither boy was found, according to officials.
Neko, 9, is a third-grader at Miller Ridge Elementary School in Middletown, Cooper said. She plans to adopt him. Another of the Lattimore brothers has been adopted, she said.
Nylo and Neko, who have different fathers, are the sons of Nyteisha Lattimore, 29, who is believed to have been killed on or about Dec. 5 in her Cincinnati apartment, according to Cincinnati police. Her body was found about a week later near the Purple People Bridge, and the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office said she died of stab wounds.
Nylo’s blood was discovered on a blanket recovered with his mother’s body, and his stroller was found in the river.
Desean Brown, 20, has been charged with two counts of aggravated murder, abuse of a corpse and evidence-tampering. Hamilton County prosecutors have announced a death penalty indictment against Brown, who has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He’s being held without bond at the Hamilton County Justice Center.
Cooper said she was “devastated” when she heard what happened to Nylo.
“I couldn’t believe it,” she told the Journal-News Monday morning. ”It’s been tough.”
Then last week, she learned that James Hutchinson, 6, of Middletown, allegedly was killed by his mother, Brittany Gosney, 29, then dumped into the Ohio River near Lawrenceburg, Indiana.
“Opened the wounds again,” Cooper said. “People talk about ‘closure,’ and while I want them to find Nylo’s body, I’m not sure that’s good. I hate to think that boy was thrown in the river.”
This story was originally published by WCPO 9 news partner, the Journal-News.