Imposter Who Said he Was Missing Illinois Boy Charged by US Prosecutors

Pitzen went missing in 2011 after his mother killed herself

Federal prosecutors on Friday charged a 23-year-old former convict with making false statements after he claimed to be IL teen Timmothy Pitzen, who went missing in 2011 after his mother killed herself.

Rini is being held at the Hamilton County Jail in Cincinnati, the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Federal and local officials announced the charge against Rini in a Friday morning press conference Downtown.

Timmothy disappeared in 2011 at age 6, and a note left behind by his mother before she took her own life said he was being cared for and would never be found. Timmothy's family was cautiously hopeful over Wednesday's news, as were neighbours and others who have long wondered whether he is dead or alive.

Rini has a long rap sheet, and he got out of prison just a month ago on a burglary and vandalism case.

The FBI in Louisville, Kentucky, tweeted that "law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite frim with his family".

When authorities arrived, he told them his name was Timmothy Pitzen and said he fled from two men who kept him captive for seven years, most recently at a nearby Red Roof Inn, according to a police report.

During an interview with a Cincinnati police detective and Federal Bureau of Investigation task force officer at the hospital, Rini still claimed to be 14-year-old Timmothy Pitzen, according to the affidavit.

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"Law enforcement confronted him with the DNA results, and at that point the person immediately stated that he was not Timmothy Pitzen, and of course law enforcement knew by virtue of the DNA analysis that he was in fact Brian Rini", said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman during a briefing with reporters. "Timmothy's father is devastated once again".

Brian Michael Rini, 23, faces a federal charge in connection with falsely claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen.

Timmothy was last seen after his mother pulled him out of school in Aurora, Illinois, a far-west suburb of Chicago, and then committed suicide.

"It's devastating. It's like reliving that day all over again, and Timmothy's father is devastated once again", said the boy's aunt, Kara Jacobs.

"He walked up to my auto and he went, 'Can you help me?' " a 911 caller told dispatchers, according to the affiliate. "I just want to get home".

For years, Timmothy's family has searched for him in several states. Jonathon Rini said he later received a letter notifying him his license had been suspended, according to a police report from Norton, Ohio.

"I have one image". Now, less than a month later, authorities said Rini pretended to be Pitzen, a boy who had been missing since 2011. She drove him hundreds of miles, and they visited a zoo and a water park.

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.

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