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

Mandatory spaying and neutering looms for outdoor Chemainus cats

North Cowichan considers bylaw to control stray and feral cat issues

Fisheries and oceans minister spends Earth Day in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Jonathan Wilkinson in riding to support candidate Michelle Corfield

Climate action can’t be a partisan issue, say Greens

Green Party of Canada celebrated Earth Day early in Nanaimo

Editorial: Climate change is a good reason to cast a vote

Different choices around climate action and inaction will be on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

United Way opens grants to help charities tackle social issues

Charities north of the Malahat can apply for grants $2,000 to $20,000

Anti-immigration party is on the ballot in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

Opposing candidate says National Citizens Alliance’s participation ‘highly problematic’

Second earthquake in less than two hours strikes off Vancouver Island

The first earthquake happened at 1:27 p.m., the second at 2:44 p.m.

PHOTOS: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says ‘I do’ on Earth Day

May and John Kidder got married Monday morning in Victoria

Sri Lanka invokes war-time military powers after nearly 300 killed in Easter bombings

Sri Lanka’s minister of tourism says 39 foreign tourists were killed in the Easter Sunday attacks

Multiple sailing waits as BC Ferries deals with Easter Monday traffic

89 extra sailings had been added to the long weekend schedule

Vancouver Island-based company provides glass alternatives to plastic straws

Enviro Glass Straws now producing more than 60,000 staws each year

Most Read