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Who is the man who falsely claimed to be an Illinois boy who went missing eight years ago?
On Wednesday, a man sporting bruises and claiming to be a 14-year-old boy ran up to strangers in Newport, Kentucky for help.
"He walked up to my car and he went, 'Can you help me?'" a 911 caller told dispatchers, according to WCPO in Cincinnati. "'I just want to get home. Please help me.' I asked him what's going on, and he tells me he's been kidnapped and he's been traded through all these people and he just wanted to go home."
He said he was Timmothy Pitzen of Aurora, Illinois, who at age 6 disappeared in the midst of tragedy. 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.
Who is Rini?
He has a history of filing false reports, authorities told Chicago's WGN-TV. His intention for claiming to be Pitzen remains unknown.
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. Videos on Facebook allegedly showed Rini inside that home during the incident exclaiming, “We're going to party. Bring your own drugs."
He also allegedly has a history of writing bad checks.
Rini’s younger brother said he has a history of getting into trouble
“I’m not surprised. I mean, he’s nuts,” Jonathan Rini, 21, told CBS 19 in Cleveland. “He’s been doing stupid stuff, not this serious, but he’s been doing stupid stuff for as long as I can remember.”
He claims his brother struggles from mental health issues and before going to prison spent a lot of time in juvenile detention.
“He has Asperger’s, bipolar disorder, ADHD, the list goes on,” he claims.
He said he hasn’t seen his brother in four years. They stopped talking after he claimed Brian started using his name when he would get into legal trouble.
“Once he started using my name for things he was doing, I have no compassion for him whatsoever,” he alleged.
It’s unclear if Brian Rini has a lawyer who can speak on his behalf at this time. Newport Police Chief Tom Collins said charges against him are possible and could come as early as next week.
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