It was a tense few days for Timmothy Pitzen’s family, friends, and the rest of the world. And we all waited with bated breath for the news we all hoped we would hear. But it was not to be.
Just days before, a bedraggled-looking male showed up in Ohio claiming to be the Illinois boy who had been missing for nearly eight years.
"Timmothy’s" miraculous reappearance seemed almost too good to be true. The boy had been the subject of an intense search over the years, with every tip turning out to be a dead-end.
The young man, of indeterminate age, said he was 14 years old and had been held captive by two men. He went on to say that he only just escaped from the Red Roof Inn where he was allegedly being held.
To confirm his claim, DNA tests were performed on the young man while he was in the hospital due to his condition.
The FBI announced Thursday afternoon that DNA results came back negative, according to WCPO.
“The family of Timmothy Pitzen was waiting to see if the person found in Newport Wednesday could be the same child who has been missing since 2011, but it turned out to be another false lead.”
CBS Chicago reports that “Newport police found the boy in a Newport neighborhood after someone reported a young teen walking around the area as if “he didn’t belong there.”
“Residents in Newport KY saw [the] teen with bruises on his face. One resident said [the] boy told her he had been ‘passed around’ for 7 years."
Crime Online reports, “When questioned, the teen said he was 14 years old and kidnapped years ago. He also said he was being held in a Red Roof Inn, but he didn’t know the exact location."
The FBI revealed the true identity of the ‘boy’ who was found and it turns out that he is “actually 23-year-old Brian Rini of Medina, Ohio, Newport Police Chief Tom Collins told ABC News.”
“23-year-old Brian Michael Rini ‘has an extensive criminal history with Medina police and documented mental issues,’ Medina, Ohio, police chief Ed Kinney says.
"He has between 50 and 60 interactions with Medina police."
“To be clear, law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite him with his family,” an FBI spokesperson stated. “Unfortunately, that day will not be today.”
The FBI issued a statement addressing the sad turn of events and the consequences for perpetrating aa hoaax such as this one:
“False reports like this can be painful to the families of missing children and also divert law enforcement resources in order to investigate these untruthful claims.
“Law enforcement takes dishonest reports very seriously, and we caution that people making false claims can and will face criminal penalties.”
And that’s exactly what has happened. “Brian M. Rini has been charged by the #FBI with making false statements to a federal agent.”
Ben Glassman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said Rini "had actually on two prior occasions claimed to be a victim of juvenile sex trafficking."Rini now faces a federal criminal charge for lying to a federal agent, which is punishable with up to eight years in federal prison."
Glassman noted the possible sentence is a reflection of the fact that Rini is accused of "lying about a material matter that involves the sex trafficking of children."
"My heart goes out to the family of Timmothy Pitzen. I can only imagine the kind of pain that they have been through and that this episode has caused for them," Glassman said.
Please continue to pray for Timmothy and his family. Just because this person was NOT Timmothy, doesn't mean he ISN'T out there somewhere.