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

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

OP-ED: Striking a balance with the oil tanker moratorium

Dennis Patterson, Senator for Nunavut, on protecting Canada’s environment and economy with Bill C-48

Over $70,000 in grants for crime prevention on the North Coast

Three organizations on Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert and Bella Coola will receive support

MP Nathan Cullen to testify at oil tanker ban committee hearings

Senators travel to Prince Rupert and Terrace as part of fact-finding mission on Bill C-48

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

Short-circuit likely caused Notre Dame fire: police official

Investigators made an initial assessment of the cathedral but can’t yet search charred interior

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select sailings

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries will be available on the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

Elizabeth May’s B.C. wedding will be a ‘low carbon affair’ on Earth Day

Green party leader’s wedding party to depart in a cavalcade of electric cars

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Most Read