The family of an Illinois boy missing since 2011 says they are heartbroken after police determined that a person claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen apparently carried out a hoax.
Kara Jacobs told reporters Thursday that learning her nephew had not been found is “like reliving the day” he disappeared over again. Anderson also said his father, James Pitzen, “is devastated once again.”
The FBI announced Thursday that DNA testing ruled out that the individual is Pitzen, missing from Aurora, Ill. Police say the story they were told by the person found wandering the streets in Newport, Ky., Wednesday didn’t check out.
“DNA results have been returned indicating the person in question is not Timmothy Pitzen,” FBI spokesman Timothy Beam in Louisville said in a statement.
“Law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite him with his family. Unfortunately, that day will not be today.”
A short time later, Kentucky police identified the person claiming to be the missing boy as a 23-year-old Ohio man.
Newport, Ky., police chief Tom Collins told ABC News that the person is Brian Rini of Medina in northeast Ohio.
State prison records show a man by that name was released from a state prison on March 7, after serving time for burglary and vandalism charges.
A man by that name 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.
In May 2011, six-year-old Timmothy Pitzen’s mother picked him up at school in Illinois, 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 that no one would ever find him.
On Wednesday, an individual came forward and told authorities he is Timmothy.
‘Just escaped from 2 kidnappers’
Police in the Cincinnati suburb of Sharonville wrote in a short incident report that a boy said Wednesday morning that he had “just escaped from two kidnappers” whom he described as white men with body builder-type physiques. He said they were in a Ford SUV with Wisconsin licence plates and had been staying at a Red Roof Inn.
Sharonville police said on the department’s Facebook page that the information about the boy’s reported escape was received by police in Campbell County, Ky.
“The City of Sharonville Police Department, like every other police agency in the greater Cincinnati area, was requested to check their Red Roof Inn hotels regarding this incident,” the post read. “To the best of our knowledge, we have no information indicating that the missing juvenile was ever in the city of Sharonville.”
The body of 43-year-old Amy Fry-Pitzen was found on May 15, 2011. Her wrists were slit. Police investigating her death said she took steps that suggest she might have dropped her son off with a friend.
At the time, police searched for Timmothy in Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa.
This story originally appeared on CBC