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Mother’s confession: How detectives solved 6-year-old boy’s murder

Published: Nov. 10, 2021 at 12:00 PM EST
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - The case of 6-year-old James Hutchinson went from missing child to a murder mystery one February day.

Detectives unraveled the story his mother and her boyfriend told, and within a few hours, the two confessed to what happened.

On Feb. 28, Brittany Gosney, 29, and her 42-year-old boyfriend, James Hamilton, walked into the Middletown Police Department to report Gosney’s son as missing.

Detective John Hoover questioned Gosney about the time frame of events, saying something just did not make sense.

“I’m a little confused that the baby [Hutchinson] has been missing since 4:30ish, we’ll say, and we don’t get the call until after 10 a.m. That’s peculiar to me,” Hoover asked Gosney. “Do you understand why?”

Middletown Police Chief David Birk said in the first press conference following the arrests of Gosney and Hamilton something seemed off when the two came to police.

“From the beginning, it was just suspicious, and it just wasn’t a normal case that we see on a regular basis,” Chief Birk recalled. “You know, when you have a missing child, again, you call 911.”

The training and experience of the detectives allowed them to find the holes in Gosney’s and Hamilton’s stories.

Throughout the three-hour interrogation, detectives bounced back and forth between rooms, disassembling the story built on a foundation of lies, brick by brick.

“When we had them separated, they never had contact again from the beginning,” Chief Birk explained. “And then, once we pulled the layers of lies off and they came up with the exact same story from beginning to end and their time frame started lining up better, that’s when you know you’re getting to the truth. And their stories by the end of the interviews, their stories were identical.”

As the interview went on, Gosney admitted to killing Hutchinson according to the sheriff’s report. She tells the detectives she and Hamilton went to the Ohio River where they dropped Hutchinson’s body.

It still has not been found.

Gosney pleaded guilty to murder and two counts of felony endangering children in August. She was sentenced to the maximum of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 21 years.

Hamilton pleaded guilty to charges of kidnapping, endangering children, and gross abuse of a corpse.

He received eight to 12 years for kidnapping, six years for child endangering, and one year for gross abuse of a corpse. Hamilton will be eligible for parole after 15 years and is required to register as a violent offender. He gets 219 days of time served.

While the court cases are over, Chief Birk said his department will not be able to close the book on this case until Hutchinson’s remains are found.

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