FBI agents in Louisville announced that DNA test results indicate a person who appeared yesterday claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen, a Chicago area boy who has been missing for eight years, is not actually Timmothy Pitzen. Authorities were looking to determine the identity of person — who appeared in a Newport, Kentucky, neighborhood Wednesday afternoon — and it turns out he is a 23-year-old man.
Police have identified that person as Brian Michael Rini, of Medina, Ohio, who has a long criminal history, according to CBS affiliate WKRC-TV.
Speaking about the person who alleged to be Pitzen, Supervisory Special Agent Timothy Bean of the FBI said, “DNA results have been returned indicating the person in question is not Timmothy Pitzen. A local investigation continues into this person’s true identity.” Bean added, “To be clear, law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite him with his family. Unfortunately, that day will not be today.”
According to a police report, the person who identified himself as Pitzen — and later was found out to be somebody else — said he fled to the area Wednesday after escaping “two kidnappers that have been holding him for seven years.”
“He looked like he had been beat up,” one witness said.
“He said that he was tired and he’s been passed around and he’s lost,” another said.
Rini allegedly told police he “had been staying at a Red Roof Inn,” but he wasn’t sure where. He described the kidnappers as two white males with “body-builder type build.” One allegedly had a spider web tattoo on his neck and the other a snake tattoo on his arms.
Timmothy Pitzen of Aurora, Illinois, disappeared in in 2011 when he was 6 years old. He was last seen with his mother before she was found dead in a motel room. She apparently took her own life, and reportedly left a note that said the boy was safe with people who loved him, but would never be found.
CBS Chicago reports Aurora police said they had been very cautious about the teen’s claim to be Timmothy, as there were several false sightings of the missing boy in the past.
Pitzen’s grandmother, Alana Anderson, and aunt, Kara Jacobs, addressed the media Thursday afternoon and said “it’s been awful” when asked about the last 24 hours and that “it’s like reliving that day [Pitzen disappeared] all over again.”
“We’ve been on tenterhooks … Eternally hopeful and frightened — it’s just been exhausting,” Anderson said. “But, as Kara said, I feel so sorry for the young man. He obviously had a horrible time and felt the need to say he was someone else and hope that they can find his family.”