Man's claim gives false hope in missing boy case

Man's claim gives false hope in missing boy case

The man who allegedly claimed to be missing IL boy Timmothy Pitzen told authorities he learned details of the case from a recent episode of "20/20".

Brian Rini, 23, of Medina, Ohio, was behind bars in Cincinnati on Friday as the United States attorney's office was poised to release more details about the case.

Federal and local law enforcement announced charges against Rini at a press conference Friday morning.

A young man's claim to be an IL boy who disappeared under tragic circumstances eight years ago was disproved by DNA tests and pronounced a hoax Thursday, dashing hopes that the baffling case had finally been solved.

Brian Michael Rini was released from an OH prison last month after serving time for burglary and vandalism.

The FBI said Rini had twice before made similar claims in which he falsely portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim. About 24 hours later, DNA tests showed he is not the boy who vanished at age 6, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Thursday.

Brian Michael Rini of Medina, Ohio, was charged with lying to federal agents after he appeared looking confused in Newport, Kentucky, outside Cincinnati on Wednesday and claimed he was 14-year-old Pitzen, federal officials said.

His mother, Amy Frye Pitzen, was later found dead in a Rockford, Illinois hotel room. A note she left said the boy was being cared for by someone who loved him in a place where he would never be found.

"He walked up to my auto and he went, 'Can you help me?' " a 911 caller told dispatchers, according to CNN affiliate WCPO in Cincinnati.

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"It's like reliving that day all over again, and Timmothy's father is devastated once again, as are we", said the boy's aunt Kara Jacobs, her voice choked with emotion.

According to CNN, Rini's brother, Jonathon Rini told reporters that he had no idea why his brother would impersonate the missing child.

He said he hasn't seen his brother in four years.

"He used my name in a traffic stop in Norton and skipped court, and I received a traffic warrant for it", Jonathan Rini said.

Timmothy's family, including his father, has continued searching for him.

Authorities have asked anyone with genuine information about the case to call Aurora police at 630-256-5000 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678. He was last seen with his mother at a water park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin in May 2011.

"I have one image".

She drove around with him for several days and then checked into a motel, where she took her own life.

Often, they find a susceptible audience, both in family members desperate to fill an emotional hole and in a public eager to fit a happy ending on a situation as unfathomable as the disappearance of a child - a sentiment in Timmothy Pitzen's case. Her biggest fear was that a judge would take her son away because of her mental health issues, according to relatives.