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Missing Boy Timmothy Pitzen's Family Says Hoax Was Like 'Reliving That Day All Over Again'

“It’s been awful,” said Alana Anderson, Timmothy's grandmother, after a 23-year-old man falsely claimed he was the boy who disappeared in 2011 at the age of 6.

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

Timmothy Pitzen’s relatives are not too thrilled about one man’s alleged attempt to pose as the boy who went missing in 2011. In fact, they are devastated.

On Wednesday, a man sporting bruises and claiming to be a 14-year-old boy ran up to strangers in Newport, Kentucky Wednesday asking for help. He said he was Timmothy Pitzen of Aurora, Illinois, who disappeared at the age of 6. 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.

Sadly, Wednesday's events only brought them false hope.

Hours after the man made the claim, the FBI said DNA testing ruled him out as being Pitzen. He was actually 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini of Medina, Ohio, a man with a criminal history and who, according to his brother, suffers from mental health issues.

"It's like reliving that day all over again, and Timmothy's father is devastated once again, as are we," the boy's aunt, Kara Jacobs, told the Wisconsin State Journal.

She said she hopes everyone will join her in praying for Rini. He was released from prison last month after he serving time for both burglarizing and vandalizing a $400,000 home for sale in Ohio in 2017, according to Tribune Media.

It’s unclear why the man would want to pose as the missing boy, whose family was cautiously optimistic about the claim.

“It’s been awful,” said Timmothy’s grandmother Alana Anderson, according to NBC News. “We’ve been on tenterhooks. … It’s been exhausting.”

She, like Pitzen’s aunt, asked for the public's prayers for Rini.

"I feel so sorry for the young man who has obviously had a horrible time and felt the need to say he was someone else," Anderson said.