Brian Rini (left) claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen (right), a boy who went missing in 2011.

Man who claimed to be missing Illinois boy has twice made similar claims: FBI

The FBI declared the man’s story that he was Timmothy Pitzen a hoax based on DNA testing

A man who authorities say claimed to be an Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago has twice made similar claims in which he falsely portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim, according to an FBI affidavit filed in federal court Friday.

Brian Rini of Medina, Ohio, was jailed in Cincinnati on Thursday. The FBI has identified Rini as the person who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, who disappeared in 2011 at age 6.

The FBI declared the man’s story a hoax Thursday based on DNA testing one day after he identified himself to authorities as Pitzen.

Enough evidence exists to charge Rini with lying to federal authorities, the affidavit said. The U.S. attorney’s office in Cincinnati scheduled a Friday news conference on the case. No attorney was listed for Rini in court documents Friday.

Rini was found Wednesday in Newport, Kentucky, “wandering the street and looking confused and in need of assistance,” according to the six-page affidavit from FBI agent Mary Braun.

After identifying himself as Pitzen, Rini complained of abdominal pain and was taken to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Emergency Room, the affidavit said. Rini refused to be fingerprinted Wednesday and Thursday but agreed to a DNA test which on Thursday identified him as Rini, according to Braun.

Even after Rini was advised of his rights and warned against making false statements, he continued to insist he was Pitzen and that he had escaped from a hotel where he’d been forced to have sex with men against his will, the affidavit said.

Rini finally acknowledged his identity after being confronted with the DNA results, said he had watched a story about Pitzen on ABC’s 20/20 news program, and had wanted to get away from his family, according to Braun.

READ MORE: Cincinnati man’s claim gives false hope in years-long missing boy case

An FBI investigation found that Rini had twice portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim, and in each case was later identified after being fingerprinted, the affidavit said.

Rini was released from prison on probation less than a month ago after serving more than a year for burglary and vandalism.

Timmothy’s family had been cautiously hopeful over Wednesday’s news, as were neighbours and others who’d long wondered whether he is dead or alive.

“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,” FBI spokesman Timothy Beam said in a statement Thursday.

Timmothy vanished after his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, pulled him out of kindergarten early one day, took him on a two-day road trip to the zoo and a water park, and then killed herself at a hotel. She left a note saying that her son was safe with people who would love and care for him, and added: “You will never find him.”

In Timmothy’s hometown of Aurora, Illinois, police Sgt. Bill Rowley said that over the years his department has received thousands of tips about Timmothy, including false sightings.

“We’re always worried about copycats, especially something that has a big national attention like this,” Rowley said.

Timmothy’s family members said they were heartbroken at the latest twist.

“It’s devastating. It’s like reliving that day all over again, and Timmothy’s father is devastated once again,” said his aunt Kara Jacobs.

The boy’s grandmother Alana Anderson said: “It’s been awful. We’ve been on tenterhooks, hopeful and frightened. It’s just been exhausting.” She added, “I feel so sorry for the young man who’s obviously had a horrible time and felt the need to say he was somebody else.”

Dan Sewell And Don Babwin, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rail group to bring plan to Abbotsford council

Group is calling for plans to run trains on rail line between Chilliwack and Surrey

Mt. Baker climbers reach summit in memory of Const. John Davidson

Team includes Abbotsford Police members, Davidson’s 3 kids and others

UPDATE: New Abbotsford ER expansion expected to welcome patients in October 2020

Deadline for construction proposals closes, but construction timeline unknown

Money in to finish Lougheed Highway twinning

$29 million to complete four laning of four-kilometre stretch in Maple Ridge, but no start date

VIDEO: Young couple found dead in northern B.C. had been shot, police say

Chynna Noelle Deese of the U.S. and Lucas Robertson Fowler of Australia were found along Highway 97

Hazmat incident closes down Lower Mainland street

One person is believed to be dead, police said

VIDEO: Man found dead near B.C. teens’ truck could be linked to a double homicide

RCMP said they are looking for Kam McLeod, 19, and Bryer Schmegelsky, 18, of Port Alberni

Latest plan is to fly trapped fish by helicopter over Big Bar slide

Multi-pronged plan set in motion to freesalmon blocked by landslide in the Fraser River

Family of missing B.C. senior with dementia frustrated with situation, heartened by community support

Nine days since Grace was last seen the question remains: ‘How can an 86-year-old just disappear?’

Unsealed record suggests U.S. man convicted of murdering Vancouver Island couple left DNA on zip tie in 1987

William Talbott is set to be sentenced Wednesday in the murders of Jay Cook and Tanya Van Cuylenborg

Okanagan Air Cadet challenges gender-exclusive haircut policy

Haircut regulation inspires challenge around gender identity

Pride flags stolen from Lower Mainland church

Went missing sometime Friday night, says Maple Ridge reverend

25 new wheelchair-accessible cabins open at Cultus Lake Provincial Park

Maple Bay Campground is now home to 25 new wheelchair friendly cabins, a first for BC Parks

Most Read