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Following news that a teenager who escaped a kidnapping claimed to be long-missing Timmothy Pitzen, the man who claimed to be Pitzen has been charged with lying to the FBI. Here’s what happened before Brian Rini, 23, was discovered to not be Pitzen:
In 2011, 6-year-old
On May 11, 2011, Amy Fry-Pitzen arrived at her son Timmothy’s elementary school in Illinois to take him on a road trip with destinations including a water park and a zoo. Timmothy’s father, Jim Pitzen, filed a missing persons report, and three days into the road trip, Fry-Pitzen was found dead in a hotel room in Rockford, Illinois. She took her own life and left a suicide note stating that Timmothy was safe with people who love him. In this note, she also said that he would never be found, and the day prior to her suicide, she contacted many family members from an unknown location to tell them Timmothy was safe. He was last seen in video footage from a Wisconsin water park on May 13, 2011.
Kentucky authorities were alerted to the teenager now claiming to be Timmothy when local resident Sharon Hall contacted them. According to Hall, another witness called the police when the teenager told her that he was experiencing stomach pain and had been running for two hours. Previously, Hall and the other people who spoke with police had found the teen suspicious, but then they noticed that he was bruised and terrified.
When the police arrived, the teen told them that he had broken free from two men that had kept him captive for years. A local news reporter learned from a witness that Timmothy told her he had been traded among people during his time in captivity and sought a stable, normal home. Timmothy could not figure out where exactly his captors were or where he had run from, but he did know they were staying at a Red Roof Inn when he escaped. Law enforcement agents in Newport and nearby cities have begun searching local motels for any men matching the descriptions Timmothy provided them. The FBI has stepped in to assist as well.
Although he could not pinpoint his kidnappers’ location, Timmothy was able to describe the men to police. Authorities say that one of the two men has a spider web tattoo on his neck, and the other has a snake tattoo on his arm. Additionally, these men drive a Ford SUV with plates from Wisconsin, the same state where Timmothy was last seen.
In the years following Timmothy’s disappearance, Pitzen family members said that Fry-Pitzen had struggled with depression and that she took her life as her marriage was falling apart. When Jim Pitzen spoke with CNN about Timmothy’s disappearance in 2015, he mentioned that he and other family members had searched for Timmothy in many states following his disappearance. Just last year, Timmothy’s aunt, Kara Jacobs, spoke with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and insisted that she, among other family members, were convinced Timmothy was alive somewhere in the world. Jacobs said that she never believed Fry-Pitzen would hurt her own son.