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Divers resume searching Ohio River for body of 6-year-old James Hutchinson

File photo of Ohio search and rescue crews as they search for the body of a 6-year-old boy from Middletown believed to have been dropped in the Ohio River.
Posted at 2:10 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 20:04:59-05

LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Recovery efforts for the body of James Hutchinson continued Wednesday with divers entering the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, in search for the boy’s body.

Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson confirmed the dive team was in the river searching Wednesday. This marks the first time during the recovery efforts that a dive team has been able to enter the river since search efforts started Feb. 28.

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James Hutchinson, 6, whom police believe was killed by his mother.

High river levels have been one of the issues hampering the recovery after Hutchinson’s body was allegedly thrown into the river from the I-275 bridge. Search efforts have been suspended multiple times after heavy rains and snowmelt brought the river levels above flood stage.

Recovery efforts resumed over the weekend but were unsuccessful.

Investigators allege Hutchinson’s mother, Brittany Gosney, 29, of Middletown, was responsible for the boy’s death. Previously, police said Gosney drove Hutchinson and his two siblings to Rush Run Wildlife Area in Preble County in the early morning hours of Feb. 27 to abandon them at the park.

According to investigative records, Gosney said she intended to abandon the children after feeling pressure from her boyfriend, James Hamilton, 42, to do so.

While trying to leave the children, Hutchinson grabbed ahold of the vehicle, she said, as Gosney tried to drive away, which led to the boy’s death. Police said Gosney and Hamilton then drove the boy’s body to Lawrenceburg about a day later and disposed of it into the river.

Gosney and Hamilton were indicted by a Butler County grand jury on 31 combined charges. Gosney faces 16 charges including murder, involuntary manslaughter, tampering with evidence, child endangering, kidnapping and gross abuse of a corpse. Hamilton faces 15 charges including, kidnapping, gross abuse of a corpse, child endangering, tampering with evidence and abduction.

The couple made court appearances earlier this week with bond set at $2 million for Gosney and $750,000 for Hamilton. Trial dates have preliminarily been set for May 24.

This story was originally published by WCPO 9 News media partner, WHIO.