On Wednesday, a man approached Newport, Kentucky police claiming that he was Timmothy Pitzen, who went missing in 2011 when he was only 6 years old. After the man’s DNA was collected and ran in the database, the man (who claimed to be 14 years old) was identified as 23-year-old convicted felon Brian Michael Rini from Medina, Ohio.

Rini was released from an Ohio prison on March 7th, after he served over 12 months for vandalism and burglary. Rini’s criminal record includes convictions for making false alarms, writing bad checks and falsification dating back to 2013, according to USA Today.

The Medina Gazette reported that Rini was one of 4 men who were charged in 2017 in Medina County for causing over $1,000 in damage to a former model home after hosting a huge party at the residence. Rini had visited the $400,000 home, posing as a potential buyer. Just two days later, he spoke with neighbors and told them he’d purchased the home and planned to hold a housewarming party the next night, according to the Gazette. The morning after, police were notified of the damage done to the model home.

Though Pitzen has been missing for several years, FBI Louisville spokesman Timothy Beam stated they would not give up on trying to locate the missing boy.

“To be clear, law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite him with his family,” Beam said in a statement. “Unfortunately, that day will not be today.”

Sgt. William Rowley said Rini’s falsely claiming to be Pitzen actually breathes new life into the case. “It created a renewed awareness in the case,” Rowley said. “It’s good that it’s got people thinking about the case again, and perhaps has people looking at the case with new eyes.”

Rini had given the police Timmothy James Pitzen’s correct date of birth as well as giving the Kentucky PD detailed descriptions of the two men who he claimed “kidnapped” him in 2011. Describing in detail the Ford SUV with Wisconsin license plates Rini claimed the “kidnappers” drove, and their tattoos. “One had black curly hair, Mt. Dew shirt and jeans, & has a spider web tattoo on his neck. The other was short in stature and had a snake tattoo on his arms.”According to the police report, Rini added that the men had “body-builder type” builds

Rini told the Sharonville Police Department he had been held by the men at a Red Roof Inn somewhere close by, but he wasn’t sure of the location.

Timmothy’s grandmother, Alana Anderson, addressed the media on Thursday and showed pity on Rini saying, “It’s been awful. I feel so sorry for the young man who’s obviously had a horrible time and felt the need to say he was someone else. It’s kind of back to ground zero for us.”

Tinnothy’s aunt, Kara Jacobs, also spoke to the media Thursday and said, “It’s like reliving that day all over again.”

The last time Timmothy James Pitzen was caught on camera was in surveillance video on May 13, 2011 at 10:10 a.m. when they checked out of a resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, where his mother Amy Fry-Pitzen had taken him after picking him up from Greenman Elementary School in Aurora, an outer suburb of Chicago. According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Timmothy and Amy traveled over 500 miles in the next two days, with stops at a zoo and amusement park.

Amy Pitzen was captured on camera after checking out of the resort, but she was alone. Records show Amy checked into a hotel 70 miles north of Aurora, in Rockford, Illinois.

Timmothy’s mother was found dead in the next morning by a hotel worker from an apparent suicide, leaving a note that stated that Timmothy was “somewhere safe with people who love him and will take care of him,” according to the Daily Herald in Chicago. Timmothy was nowhere to be found.

Full police report can be viewed here:


Timmothy, with his mother Amy.
Surveillance cameras show Timmothy and his mother Amy at a resort in Wisconsin.
Camera images along Timmothy and Amy’s 500 mile trip.

“You will never find him.”

-From Amy Fry-Pitzen’s suicide note

Timmothy was recently featured on an adventure series on Amazon named “Fireball Run” in January of 2019, where several teams compete in a multi-city scavenger hunt that spans over 2,000 miles. On the show, each team is assigned a missing child. The goal of the competition is to spread awareness, while continuing to pass out flyers with the names and photos of missing children.

The FBI are assisting the Aurora Police Department in Illinois, and are considering pressing charges on Rini for the false report.

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