CINCINNATI — The person who claimed he was missing Aurora boy Timmothy Pitzen was identified as a 23-year-old man, FBI officials announced on Thursday.
The Louisville FBI said DNA results showed the person who claimed he was Pitzen was actually Brian Michael Rini of Medina, Ohio.
According to authorities, Rini, who was originally identified as being 14 years old, has a history of making false reports.
Pitzen’s grandmother and aunt spoke shortly after the DNA results were made public. His aunt said they will never stop looking for and praying for him.
Rini told authorities in Kentucky Wednesday that he was Pitzen, who disappeared from the Chicago suburb in 2011. The man said he escaped kidnappers at a Red Roof Inn in the Cincinnati area, and kept running until he ran across a bridge to Newport, Kentucky.
He described the kidnappers as two white men with bodybuilder-type physiques, according to the incident report. The report said they were in a Ford SUV with Wisconsin license plates and had been staying at a Red Roof Inn.
A witness said the person looked like he had been beaten up. The witness also said you could “see the fear on him and how nervous he was.”
He was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for observation.
Pitzen was six years old when he went missing in May 2011, after his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, picked him up from Greenman Elementary School in Aurora.
The two went on a three-day road trip stopping at Brookfield Zoo and water parks in Gurnee and Wisconsin Dells. They were last seen on hotel surveillance video in Wisconsin.
Amy was found dead days later in a Rockford motel along with a note saying her son was “safe” with people who would take care of him. Authorities said she killed herself. The note she left also said, “You’ll never find him.”
Pitzen’s grandmother, Alana Anderson, said the family has endured so much heartbreak but never gave up hope.
“We never stopped looking for him, thinking about him and we’ll do everything we can to get him back to a good life,” Anderson said.
The investigation remains under investigation.
Louisville officials said anyone with genuine information about the case is asked to call the APD at 630-256-5000 or the NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).