Timmothy Pitzen Update: Brian Rini, man accused of claiming to be missing Aurora boy, charged with lying to FBI

A 23-year-old man who police said claimed he was an Aurora boy missing since 2011 has been charged with lying to a federal agent, authorities announced Friday.

Police in Newport, Kentucky said Brian Rini lied about being Timmothy Pitzen when he was found wandering the streets on Wednesday. Friday, authorities announced Rini has been charged by the FBI for making false statements to a federal agent.

"He was just standing by a car...more suspicious than anything," Sharon Hall said.

WATCH: Auhorities announce charge against Brian Rini
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Federal authorities in Ohio announced Friday that a man who is accused of claiming to be a missing Aurora boy has beenc harged with making a false statement to a federal agent.

U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Benjamin Glassman said Rini claimed to federal authorities to be Timmothy Pitzen.

"He identified himself to them as Timmothy Pitzen, and said that he...had been abducted when he was six years old, and had just broken free of his captors," Glassman said.

Investigators said Rini claimed to have been physically and sexually abused since being kidnapped in 2011 and had just broken free of his captors near Cincinnati when he was found in Newport.

Shortly after he was approached by authorities, Rini claimed he was experiencing abdominal pain and was rushed to Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Glassman said Rini then declined to provide his fingerprints but did provide a swab for a DNA test. After the results of a DNA test showed he was not Pitzen, federal investigators returned to talk to Rini and told him it was a violation of federal law to lie to investigators, but Rini repeated that he was Pitzen.

After he was confronted with DNA evidence, Rini told investigators that he wanted to get away from his own family and wanted a father like Timmothy's.

"While our agents and other law enforcement partners were skeptical that this person was who he claimed to be, we felt that it was our duty to the victims and the family of Timmothy Pitzen to follow up all logical leads," said Acting Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Herb Stapleton.

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VIDEOS: Timmothy Pitzen case (1 of 12)

DNA results have determined that a person found in Kentucky is not Timmothy Pitzen, a child from Aurora who went missing nearly eight years ago.

Glassman said Rini became aware of the Pitzen case from an old 20/20 episode that had rerun a few weeks ago. The real Timmothy Pitzen was last seen in 2011, days before his mother took her life.

Authorities said Rini has twice before lied about being a victim of juvenile sex trafficking. He appeared in court Friday morning and is being held in federal custody in Cincinnati without bond. He could face up to eight years in federal prison.

Why a man from Ohio chose to impersonate Pitzen remains a mystery, even to Rini's own brother.

"I honestly do not know, I didn't know about the case of the boy until today," said Jonathon Rini. "He's been doing stupid stuff, not this serious, but he's been doing stupid stuff for as long as I can remember....He has several mental issues."

Police in his hometown of Medina, Ohio said he has an extensive criminal history with their department that's more than nine pages long.

WATCH: Timmothy Pitzen's grandma, aunt speak after learning that person found in Kentucky is not him
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The grandmother and aunt of Timmothy Pitzen said they are devastated after a man claimed to be a child who went missing in 2011.

Records show Rini has lied to law enforcement before. He's been found guilty in the past of creating false alarms.

His other convictions include burglary, vandalism and passing bad checks. Rini just got out of prison last month after serving more than a year. He's currently on parole and was released from prison March 7. He had been arrested after throwing a wild party in a house that was not his own.

"He got on social media, invited all of his friends over and for the next couple days partied inside the house...He's, he's notorious for this kind of stuff," said Chief Tim Sopkovich of the Brunswick Hills, Ohio Police Department.

Meanwhile, it's heartbreak all over again for Timmothy Pitzen's family after a promising lead turns out to be an awful hoax.

"False reports like this one can be painful to the families of missing children, and they also divert valuable law enforcement resources in order to investigate untruthful claims," said Stapleton.

Pitzen's aunt and grandmother have always believed Timmothy is still alive. When they heard someone was found claiming to be Timmothy, they were hopeful of a joyous reunion.
There have been leads in the boy's disappearance over the years, but none as promising as this. Speaking after the news broke that it was a hoax, their pain was obvious- but still is not overcoming their compassion for the man who police say made up this story.

"We've been hopeful, ultimately hopeful and frightened and it's just been exhausting," said Alana Anderson, Timmothy's grandmother. "We know that you are out there somewhere Tim and we will never stop looking for you."

Timmothy's aunt said it was like re-living the day Timmothy disappeared all over again.

The FBI released a statement saying "law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite him with his family."


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The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has resources for teaching kids about staying safe and being aware of their surroundings.

Aurora Police also urged parents to look at the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children's website for resources to protect their own children. Timmothy's case is prominently featured on the website.

"Timmothy's case is just one case out of thousands and thousands of cases," said Angeline Hartmann of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "Sadly, there are many, many more families who are hoping they will get this type of attention too."

Hartmann said it is critical to talk to your kids about staying safe and being aware. For resources on how to have that conversation, visit missingkids.com/home.


On May 11, 2011, surveillance video captured Timmothy's mother, 43-year-old Amy Fry Pitzen, picking him up from Greenman Elementary School in Aurora. She told the school there was a family emergency.

Police said Pitzen took her son to Brookfield Zoo and to Key Lime Cove in Gurnee. On May 12, they checked into the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.

Timmothy and his mom were last seen together on the morning of May 13, checking out of the resort.

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Investigators released a new image of what a missing Aurora boy might look like nearly three years after he disappeared.

Police said Amy Pitzen then checked herself into a motel in Rockford, Illinois, that night. She appeared to be alone.

RAW VIDEO: Timmothy Pitzen last seen on surveillance video
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RAW VIDEO: Timmothy and his mom were last seen together on the morning of May 13, 2011, checking out of the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

She was found dead on May 14. She had died by suicide.

Police said Pitzen left a suicide note that said, "Tim is somewhere safe with people who love him and will care for him. You will never find him."

In August 2011, police disclosed they found a "concerning" amount of blood in the back seat of Pitzen's SUV after her death. Tests showed the blood was Timmothy's. Authorities also released a video clip of 6-year-old Timmothy playing a make-believe guitar, hoping that the boy's disappearance would remain in the public eye.

In 2013, Pitzen's cellphone was recovered from a roadside ditch near Rockford. Police said there was no useful information on the phone.

In 2015, the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children released an age progression of what Timmothy would look like at 10 years old. A woman in Rockton, Illinois, thought she saw a boy resembling the image, but it wasn't him.

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