A young man found wandering alone in a Kentucky town said he thought he was a missing boy named Timothy Pitzen. But a DNA test has dashed the hopes of the Pitzen family by proving he is not the long missing boy.
The young man was found Wednesday wandering the streets in Newport, Kentucky, a town right across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. He reportedly told police he thought he was the long missing Timothy Pitzen, a boy who has been missing from Aurora, Illinois since 2011.
The Pitzen family was immediately hopeful that the stranger was their long-lost son.
But now, DNA evidence seems to show that the boy is not the Pitzen child.
In fact, police now say that the person found in Kentucky is actually is 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini of Medina, Ohio.
“It’s devastating. It’s like reliving that day all over again,” Kara Jacobs, Timothy’s aunt, told reporters, according to CNN. “Timothy’s father is devastated once again.”
“As are we,” Timothy’s grandmother, Alana Anderson, added.
Left, Timothy Pitzen from 2011—Right Suspect Brian Rini
Timothy disappeared when he was 6 (he would be 14 today), family members said. He was abducted by his mentally disturbed mother. Three days after the abduction, the boy’s mother was found dead from suicide in a motel in Rockford, Illinois. She had left a note saying that no one would ever find out what happened to Timothy.
Police never determined if the boy was given to someone, or if his mother killed him and hid his body.
The Pitzen family, though, has held out hope that some day the boy would turn up.
Thus far no motive for the hoax has been reported.
“We know you are out there somewhere, Tim, and we will never stop looking for you, praying for you and loving you,” Kara Jacobs, Timothy’s maternal aunt, said on Thursday evening. “We hope that everyone will join us in praying for the young man who claimed to be Timothy Pitzen.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.