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Man Accused Of Posing As Missing Boy Timmothy Pitzen Has A Long History Of Lies, Prison Records Allege

Brian Rini is accused of attempting to lie about everything from toilet paper to prison rape.

By Gina Tron
Man Charged For Falsely Claiming To Be Missing Teen Timmothy Pitzen

A man charged with lying to federal agents about being a missing child was also accused of making up stories while in prison, before the alleged hoax, where he threatened other inmates and refused orders from guards, prison records show.

Brian Rini is alleged to have threatened to make a false rape claim against a guard, falsely accused an inmate of tampering with his food, and lied about being short of toilet paper, according to the records obtained by The Associated Press.

Last week Rini, 23, was charged with making false statements to a federal agent. He allegedly posed as Timmothy Pitzen, a child who vanished in 2011 at the age of 6 and would be 14 now.

He told authorities he learned about Pitzen through episode of ABC's “20/20” that had re-aired within the weeks of the incident. DNA tests proved that he was not, in fact, the missing child.

Pitzen’s mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, picked him up at school on May 11, 2011, took him to the zoo and a water park, and then killed herself at a hotel, leaving a note in which she said her son was fine but insisted that no one would ever find him. His family has been trying to track him down ever since.

His family became hopeful after a person ran up to strangers last week in Newport, Kentucky looking for help and claiming to be the Pitzen. That person turned out to be Rini instead.

It wasn’t the only lie Rini is accused of concocting.

Rini allegedly lied about being harmed by inmates in order to be transferred, a story that fell apart when guards reviewed video, according to the records.

Contrary to Rini's claims, he "can be observed horse playing, and physically making playful contact" with inmates the entire time, according the report on a Dec. 5, 2018, incident at Noble Correctional Institution in southeastern Ohio.

Rini falsified the claim "as a way to attempt to manipulate the system and transfer quick as he is a refusal to lock," the report said, referring to inmates who won't agree to their housing or cell assignments. Details of the specific claim are blacked out.

In just over a year, Rini racked up 15 disciplinary reports while housed at four prisons, the records show.

In March of 2018, Rini allegedly lied about needing toilet paper even though he had several rolls. "Inmate Rini laughed about it as if it were a joke," the report said. A few months later, in August, he allegedly told other inmates "he was going to cut their throats after lights out." That same month he threatened he would make a false prison rape claim against a guard, by "saying you touched me."

A message was left Thursday with his federal public defender.

Rini was released on probation last month from state prison after serving more than a year for both burglarizing and vandalizing a $400,000 home for sale in Ohio in 2017, according to Tribune Media.

Federal authorities say he also twice previously portrayed himself to be a juvenile sex trafficking victim.

Rini could face up to eight years in prison if convicted of making false statements to federal agents. He has yet to enter a plea in his case, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 19.

In 2017, Rini was treated at an Ohio center for people with mental health or substance abuse problems, according to court papers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.