Grandfather of missing 6-year-old has doubts body was dumped in Ohio River

More than anything, Darryl and Betty Trivett just want to be able to bury their grandson.
Published: Aug. 4, 2021 at 10:51 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - It has been nearly six months since James Hutchinson disappeared, and for his grandparents, the pain and grief has been unbearable.

Middletown Police believe Brittany Gosney, James’ mother, and Gosney’s boyfriend, James Hamilton, are responsible for the 6-year-old’s murder.

Investigators believe Gosney attempted to abandon all three of her children at a park in Preble County in February and killed James in the process.

According to police, Gosney and Hamilton later took James’ body back to their home where they kept it for two days, before dumping James in the Ohio River. James’ body has yet to be found.

Darryl and Betty Trivett, James’ grandparents and Gosney’s mother and stepfather, have been heartbroken by the loss.

“Part of me just wants to grab ahold of both of them and let them feel what they did to him,” Darryl said. “It hurts me bad because I can’t even say what he felt, her leaving him out, and him scared and trying to get back in. I can’t fathom how he felt.”

For Darryl and Betty, the news of James’ disappearance and death came as a shock. Darryl says Gosney and her three children lived with them for a while, and during that time, they never saw any signs of abuse.

“She would come down here and leave ‘em here, go across the street and get them juices and snacks while they played. I mean it was things parents are supposed to do,” he said.

Six months before James’ death, Darryl says Gosney moved out of their home and moved in with Hamilton. According to Darryl, they did not approve of her new relationship, so Gosney cut them off, meaning they no longer had contact with those three grandchildren.

James’ two siblings are currently in foster care.

“They said they’re doing pretty good, but I don’t think they’re doing real good because of what they seen,” Darryl said. “They have to live with that.”

Although Gosney told police that they put James in the Ohio River after he died, Darryl has his doubts. He is afraid he will not get the chance to bury his grandson before he passes away.

“I think they’ve done something else with his body, and they’re saying that so they won’t find him ‘cause I think he was abused bad,” Darryl said. “That’s the only thing that hurts worse is not knowing where he is. If we can get him laid to rest, at least we know he’s resting peacefully.”

In Darryl’s eyes, the stepdaughter he once knew and loved is now a stranger to him - a mother he says he believes turned into a monster when she did the unthinkable.

“I think they should go away forever. I think they should get life sentences,” he said. “That’s just the way I feel. They took a life. They should lose theirs.”

Darryl says his last memory of his grandson will forever live in his heart: James hugged him, said goodbye and told his grandfather that he loved him.

“He was always happy, always hugging,” Darryl said. “He’d be the first one to run up to you and hug you.”

What has helped James’ grandparents survive the darkest of days is the support from the community.

Middletown Police and Northstar International crews said there are no updates on James’ case at this time. Darryl said he is thankful for what investigators and volunteers have done but is frustrated no additional searches are being planned.

Gosney’s trial is set for September, while Hamilton’s is scheduled for October.

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