CLEVELAND — Authorities have rejected the claim of a young man that he is an Illinois boy who disappeared in 2011 at age 6.
The FBI says DNA testing ruled him out as being Timmothy Pitzen, missing from Aurora, Illinois. Police say the story of the teenager found wandering streets in Newport, Kentucky, on Wednesday didn't check out.
In a stunning twist, the person who made the claim has been identified as 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini from Medina by Newport Police.
Rini told police that he was Timmothy and that he had escaped two kidnappers.
A look at Rini's background by WKYC shows that he has a lengthy criminal history in Medina County. He most recently served time for burglary and vandalism and was released from a state prison on March 7.
Rini also pleaded guilty to burglary charges in January 2018 and passing bad checks in December 2015, according to Medina County Court records. The same man had multiple citations in Medina Municipal Court, including driving without a valid license, disorderly conduct and theft.
Timmothy Pitzen disappeared around the time his mother killed herself after leaving a note that her 6-year-old son was fine but that no one would ever find him.
Police and the boy's family say there have been other false sightings over the years.
"Although we are disappointed that this turned out to be a hoax, we remain diligent in our search for Timmothy, as our missing person's case remains unsolved," officials with the Aurora Police Department said.
Shortly after news came that the young man found was not Timmothy Pitzer, his family addressed reporters in Aurora.