Middletown schools remember ‘happy, joyful’ young boy

Police say they will be working with trained searchers in an attempt to recover James’s body.
Police say they will be working with trained searchers in an attempt to recover James’s body.(Middletown Police)
Updated: Mar. 1, 2021 at 1:21 PM EST
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MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (FOX19) - Students at Rosa Parks Elementary are back for another week of learning, but they are doing so without one of their classmates.

James Hutchinson, 6, was reported missing initially, but his mother, 29-year-old Brittany Gosney, later confessed to killing the young boy, according to Middletown police.

Gosney and her boyfriend, James Hamilton, 42, were arrested on Sunday on charges related to the child’s death.

First Report | Middletown boy killed, put in river, mother charged

As students and teachers returned for class Monday without Hutchinson, Middletown Superintendent Marlon Styles had a message for the families of the school.

Here is part of Styles’ message for families and students:

“My heart breaks writing this letter informing the Middletown City School District of the tragic loss of one of our Rosa Parks Elementary students, James Hutchinson. During this difficult time, I know our Middie Family will lean on one another while our community mourns. Our community always finds strength when we come together, and I know we will come together for James.”

Styles shared a memory Rosa Parks Elementary principal had of Hutchinson.

The principal said the happy and joyful young boy was a hugger. The six-year-old boy would go up to teachers and give them all a hug as he walked into school.

“I will always remember his bright joy,” the superintendent shared from the principal.

Superintendent Styles also took time to tell parents there will be a counselor available for kids and themselves to speak with about this loss. Parents are encouraged to call 513-420-4552 for counselor assistance at the school.

Styles also said parents can text “HOME” to 741-741 to chat with a live trained counselor.

Middletown School District is hosting a celebration of life at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday at Barnitz Stadium to honor Hutchinson.

01 March 2021 Dear Parents/Guardians: My heart breaks writing this letter informing the Middletown City School...

Posted by Middletown City Schools on Monday, March 1, 2021

The court documents obtained by FOX19 NOW on Monday depict a horrific and unimaginable series of events Hutchinson was put through.

The Middletown mother charged with murder drove to a Preble County wildlife area to abandon Hutchinson and then ran over him when he tried to get back in the car, court records show.

Gosney told police she drove off, dragging her son for a distance before her coming back 30-40 minutes later. The mother said she found Hutchinson dead in the middle of the parking lot with a head injury.

Gosney “stated she picked the child up, put him back in the vehicle and drove back (to their home on Crawford Street) where she took the child in the house and placed him in an upstairs bedroom,” police wrote in her criminal complaint.

Gosney said she drove to the Ohio River and put her son’s body in the water the next day. Hutchinson’s body has not been recovered yet. Police said they will search the river this week.

Gosney is charged with murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence.

Hamilton, the mother’s boyfriend, is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

Both are held without bond at the Middletown Municipal Jail. They are scheduled to make their first appearances in the case at 1:30 p.m. Monday.

Two other children in their home have been removed, according to police.

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