LOUISVILLE, KY (WREX) — The FBI says the person who claimed to be missing Illinois boy Timmothy Pitzen is proven wrong by a DNA test.
Pitzen disappeared in 2011 after his mother pulled him out of school and took him on vacation to the Wisconsin Dells.
Police said she died from suicide and was found dead in a Rockford motel room with a note saying Timmothy was safe but no one would ever find him.
On Wednesday, police announced someone found in Kentucky claimed he was the missing child and had been kidnapped. In less than 24 hours, DNA results show that’s not true.
In a statement, the FBI said it will continue to work to reunite Pitzen with his family but, “that day will not be today.”
The family of Timmothy Pitzen said they’re crushed at the news.
“It’s been awful we’ve been on tenter hooks, we’ve been hopeful, alternately hopeful and frightened and…it’s just been exhausting,” said Alana Anderson, Pitzen’s maternal grandmother. “I feel so sorry for the young man who’s obviously had a horrible time and felt the need to say he was someone else and hope that they can find his family.”
Our NBC affiliate in Chicago says the young man claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen is actually 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini from Medina, Ohio.
They go on to say authorities announced Rini spent a year and a half in prison for burglary and vandalism. He was released March 7. Aurora Police, where Pitzen is from, is the lead investigating department on his disappearance and says their hearts go out to the family of Pitzen.
“This is yet another time that they’ve had their hopes raised potentially. I really feel bad for them,” Sgt. Bill Rowley said. “I hope that someday we’re able to find young Timmothy and find out where he was and what happened to him so we can reunite that family again.”
Police say they hope this false alarm actually helps the case by bringing it back to the spotlight and raising awareness about finding Pitzen.
“My prayer has always been that when he was old enough he would find us if we couldn’t find him,” said Anderson.
If you have information on this case or the whereabouts of Timmothy Pitzen, you’re asked to call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Hotline at 1-800-THE-LOST or 1-800-843-5678.