Search for boys’ bodies ends for now on Ohio River after sonar indicates body possibly in water
LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. (FOX19) - The search is over for now on the Ohio River for 6-year-old James Hutchinson and 3-year-old Nylo Lattimore after divers spent the day searching the murky, rapidly-moving water.
Sonar imaging indicated there was a high degree of confidence there was a body below, according to Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser, who was on scene most of the day.
“Search operations have concluded for the day on the Ohio River,” Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson said in a news release Wednesday night. “Multiple agencies converged in the Lawrenceburg, Indiana area and were on the river nearly all day. They were searching for James Hutchinson and Nylo Lattimore. Neither of the boys were located.
The rapidly moving water made conditions difficult Wednesday evening.
“The river is flowing at at least two miles an hour,” Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gsmoer said. “Ordinarily, the divers don’t get in the water if it’s over one mile an hour.”
It’s not clear when divers can return to the swollen Ohio River, which is expected to rise in the coming days as rain moves in tonight with severe thunderstorms possible Thursday.
“Teams will continue to monitor the weather and river conditions over the next few days and will return as soon as they can safely do so. Divers still face difficult conditions on the river. Our efforts will continue as soon as possible.”
The Hamilton County Police Association Underwater Search & Recovery Unit and Boone County Water Rescue focused much of the day on an area near a bridge in Lawrenceburg.
The Butler County Sheriff Office’s water patrol and boats assisted in the search, along with the sheriff’s Emergency Response Services vehicles.
“We are following the updates. We are hoping for a recovery soon,” Sheriff Jones said earlier Wednesday. “We are hoping this brings closure to the community.
James mother struck him with a car and killed him on Feb. 26 when she abandoned him and his two siblings at a Preble County Park, according to a report from the Preble County Sheriff’s Office.
She went back for the children shortly after, put them in the car, and later put James’ body in the river, the report states.
Teams have been scouring the river and riverbanks ever since, hoping to find the first-grader and another missing child, 3-year-old Nylo Lattimore.
Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters recently said Nylo’s mother was murdered by her boyfriend, and they suspect he threw Nylo into the river alive.
“This is such a tragedy when you toss somebody in the river, when you have no respect for their life,” Sheriff Jones said.
“A 6-year-old child who had so much to live for. The suspects, his mother and boyfriend, are sitting in a warm jail cell getting three meals a day and the emergency responders are risking their lives trying to find this innocent child and bring him home. We all just want to bring him home so he can be laid to rest and shown the proper dignity and respect and love he deserves, that all children deserve.”
Preble County Sheriff Mike Simpson said divers were careful to check the river levels before venturing in Wednesday.
“I think they’ve got some areas they want to check and look at. I don’t want to say they detected something that isn’t really there. Some of this is hard to determine until they get in the water. The problem with the Ohio River is there is a lot of debris.”
Crews including North Star International Search and Recovery and Ohio LandSAR have been searching on land for James since his mother, Brittany Gosney, reported him missing late last month and then police say confessed to killing him.
Middletown police have said she told them she abandoned him and his two siblings at a Preble County park and struck him when he tried to get back in her vehicle.
Gosney left all three of her children but returned and put his body and two siblings in her vehicle, according to a report from the Preble County Sheriff’s Office. She drove back home, where she put her son’s body in a bedroom, and then she and her boyfriend later moved it to the river in Lawrenceburg, court records show.
“Our hope is that we can get in there, identify an area, recover this young man and bring a little closure to this, get this little boy recovered and brought home,” Sheriff Simpson said. “The same with Nylo. He is still missing. That’s the goal of both of these cases, get these little boys recovered and brought home.
Gosney, 29, and her boyfriend James Hamilton, 43, were indicted last week on a total of 31 counts for her son’s homicide and disposal of his body.
Gosney is charged with murder, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence.
Hamilton is charged with abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.
Both have pleaded not guilty through their court-appointed attorney.
Gosney is held in lieu of $2 million bond at the Butler County Jail.
Hamilton’s bond is $750,000.
A tentative trial date is set for May 24, court records show.
Crews, meanwhile, also have been searching for Nylo since he was reported missing in December.
His mother was stabbed to death, according to Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters, but her body was found near the Purple People Bridge on Dec. 12.
Deters says Desean Brown, 20, killed Nylo’s mother, Nyteisha Lattimore, and threw Nylo into the Ohio River while he was alive.
His stroller was located in the Ohio River near where his mother’s body was found.
Brown will face the death penalty in connection with both killings, according to Deters.
He is held without bond at the Hamilton County Justice Center.
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