Timmothy Pitzen went missing from Aurora, Illinois in 2011 when he was just six years old. On the morning of May 11th his father dropped him off at Kindergarten at Greenman Elementary. Around half an hour later Timmothy’s mother, Amy Joan Marie Fry-Pitzen, showed up to the school to take him out, due to what she told officials was a “family emergency”.
A trail of witnesses and CCTV footage showed that the mother and son spent the following two days together taking day trips to a zoo and a water park. Amy made a call to her family on the afternoon of the 13th to confirm that she and Timmothy were fine, but the next morning she would be found dead in a hotel room in Rockford. Amy had self-inflicted slash wounds to both her wrists and neck and had taken an overdose of her antihistamine medication. Timmothy was missing but his child safety I.D card with his name. address and finger print was found in the room.
Amy had penned a suicide note where she stated that Timmothy would never be found and that he was “safe with people who would care for him”, however further investigation would recover a large amount of the child’s blood in her vehicle as well as on the knife that she had used to kill herself. After looking at the cars tires investigators believed that the vehicle had been driven near a river at some point.
Timmothy was still alive at the time of the last phone that call Amy had made to her family on the 13th and they confirmed that they could hear him in the background. The call was placed from Sterling, around 105 miles from the Pitzen home in Aurora.
Age progression images of Timmothy were generated and a member of the public who thought she had spotted him in Florida contacted the authorities to altert them, however it turned out to be a false alarm. It seemed as though the trail had went cold.
Two years after Timmothy's disappearance his mother’s cell phone was handed over to police. It had been discovered in 2011 by a woman who found it discarded by the side of the road along Route 78 in Illinois. She claimed that she didn’t realize the phone belonged to Amy Pitzen at the time and it was only a couple of years later that she put two and two together while scrolling through the phones contents one day.
The discovery of the cellphone didn’t help investigators progress in finding the missing six year old, but it was the only update in the story since the child went missing in 2011- that is, until, last week a young man showed up in a Kentucky neighborhood pleading with the residents for help and telling them his name was Timmothy Pitzen.
Just several days ago on the 3rd of April 2019, a thin young man with a bruised face was spotted hovering around a parked car on a quiet road in Newport. He was clad in a plain green military jacket over a maroon hooded sweater, concealing his hands in his pockets. A startled resident noticed the individual standing suspiciously near her neighbor’s vehicle and initially thought that young man was going to break into it. She took a picture of him with her cellphone before calling her neighbor to alert them to what she believed was a potential crime.
When the neighbors confronted the male he pleaded for assistance. “Can you help me? Please help me; I just want to go home” he said.
When asked who he was and what had happened to him, he began to tell his story.
He told them that his name was Timmothy Pitzen and that he had been kidnapped when he was just six years old. He claimed that he crossed the bridge from Ohio to Kentucky to escape his captors and had been running for a whole two hours and didn’t yet have his bearings.
When asked where he had been staying for the past several years he told the residents that two Caucasian men, one short and one tall, both heavily built with bodybuilder physiques and tattoo placements that would make them very easy to identify, had been keeping him captive at a “Red roof inn” hotel in Ohio. He said that he had been kidnapped as a child and since passed around in what is believed to be some sort of underground child trafficking ring.
Police checked hotels in and around the area the young man told them he had escaped from, but they found no trace of the men he had described.
The media exploded with updates detailing the limited information that was available to the press. The story made the rounds on social media where sleuths and true crime enthusiasts discussed the possibility that Timmothy had actually been found after all these years. In 1980 a teenage boy named Steven Stayner famously escaped his captor after seven years. Stayner had been kidnapped when he was just 7 years old and eventually escaped his kidnapper in order to save a younger victim when he was 14.
A DNA test was performed on the young man claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen to confirm if he was indeed the missing boy or not.
The man was later identified as 23 year old Brian Rini, a man with a history of making false claims.
He had claimed to a victim of child sex trafficking on two previous occasions and confessed that he become aware of Timmothy's case after watching an episode of “20/20” featuring the missing child's story. In a live phone interview with CNN, Rini’s brother, Jonathan, explained that the imposter had been in and out of jail since he could remember and was continuously in trouble growing up. He later added that Brian had bipolar disorder and Asperger’s. He had been imprisoned at the Belmont Correctional Institution in Ohio for over a year and had only been out for a couple of weeks before he made the false claims. Brian Rini has been charged with making false statements to federal agents, a crime for which he could face an 8 year sentence.
When asked why he would do something so cruel, Brian Rini told investigators that it was to get away from his family and that he wished he had a father like Timmothys.
Timmothy Pitzen's father refuses to give up hope that his son is still alive.
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