Man who pretended to be missing boy charged
Brian Rini told agents that he learned information about Timmothy Pitzen, the boy who went missing in 2011, from an episode of "20/20," Ben Glassman, US attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said.
"We confirmed that there was such a '20/20' episode, and in fact, a rerun had aired several weeks ago," Glassman said.
Brian M. Rini, who falsely claimed to be missing child Timmothy Pitzen, may face up to eight years in federal prison for lying to federal agents, authorities said on Friday.
The crime involved "lying with respect to a material matter about an investigation that involves sex trafficking of children," said Ben Glassman, US attorney for the Southern District of Ohio.
"On behalf of the United States, 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.
Ben Glassman, US attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said Brian Rini appeared in court about 45 minutes ago.
Rini, who was charged with making false statements to federal agents after he claimed to be missing boy Timmothy Pitzen, is being held without bond. He has another hearing next Tuesday.
Glassman said officials discovered Rini was not the missing boy after they tested a DNA swab. When they confronted Rini with the DNA, he admitted he was not Timmothy.
FBI officials, local law enforcement officers and the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio are holding a news conference in Cincinnati moments after the FBI announced charges against the man who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen.
Brian M. Rini is facing charges of making false statements to federal agents.
Ben Glassman, US attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said officials discovered Rini was not the missing boy after they analyzed a DNA swab.
Brian M. Rini — the 23-year-old man who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, a boy who disappeared in 2011 — is facing federal charges of making false statements to federal agents, according to a release from the FBI.
A press conference is slated to begin any minute now where further details on the case are expected to be announced.
FBI officials, local law enforcement officers and the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Ohio are holding a news conference in Cincinnati this morning.
They'll brief reporters about Brian Michael Rini, the Ohio man who falsely claimed to be missing Illinois boy Timmothy Pitzen.
The news conference is scheduled to start at 11:30 p.m. ET.
Brian Michael Rini, 23, falsely claimed Wednesday that he was the missing Illinois boy Timmothy Pitzen.
- What Rini said: He told police he just escaped from his kidnappers. About 24 hours later, DNA tests showed he is not the boy who vanished at age 6, the FBI said Thursday.
- He had a police record: Records show that Rini, of Medina, Ohio, was just released from prison last month. He had been sentenced to a year and a half for burglary and vandalism, and after his release on March 7, he was supposed to start parole supervision for three years.
- How Timmothy's family is reacting: The stunning revelation of Rini's deception dashed relatives' hopes for the end of a long and desperate search for Timmothy, who would be 14. "It's devastating. It's like reliving that day all over again," Kara Jacobs, Timmothy's aunt, told reporters. "Timmothy's father is devastated once again."
Almost eight years ago, Timmothy and his mother went on a road trip that included stops at a zoo and a water park. Their adventure started after Amy Fry-Pitzen checked her 6-year-old son out of an Illinois elementary school on May 11, 2011.
Three days later, the mother's body was found in a hotel room in Rockford, Illinois. She had died by suicide, leaving behind a note that said her son was with people who love him.
"You'll never find him," the note said.
Timmothy's family, including his father, has continued searching for him.
"I know in my heart that he's absolutely alive, a hundred percent," his aunt, Kara Jacobs, said in an interview last year for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. "I know he's out there, we just have to find him."