APD continues to lead the investigation into the Timmothy’s disappearance. The FBI will support this investigation in any way possible. Anyone with genuine information about the case is asked to call the APD at 630-256-5000 or the NCMEC at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678).
— FBI Louisville (@FBILouisville) April 4, 2019
The Aurora community is devastated but determined to renew the search for Timmothy Pitzen following Thursday’s news that the man found Wednesday in the Cincinnati area was a 23-year-old with mental illness.
Aurora Police Department public information officer Sgt. Bill Rowley said at around 4 p.m. Thursday that DNA evidence confirmed the man — now identified as Brian Michael Rini of Medina, OH — was lying when he told authorities he was the Aurora child who went missing nearly eight years ago at the age of 6.
“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,” Rowley said.
Pitzen’s family members said the false alarm was “devastating.” and said it has been “like reliving that day all over again.” Pitzen’s maternal grandmother said she would pray for Rini and hold out hope that Pitzen is safe, according to ABC7 news.
Pitzen disappeared in 2011, after his mother was found dead in a Rockford motel room. His story has become a national and international headline in the past three days, after Rini identified himself as Timmothy Pitzen told authorities that he escaped his captors in Ohio and ran across a bridge into Kentucky.
Earlier on Thursday, Rowley said the APD’s primary focus would be in assisting the FBI in their investigation, and providing information from its missing person case.
Aurora police sent two detectives to the Cincinnati area Wednesday to assist the FBI office there to check on a missing person tip.
“Since the time of Timothy’s disappearance, the Aurora Police Department has received a number of tips regarding the Pintzen case, and we have diligently followed up on each one,” Rowley said.
Pintzen was dropped off at school in Aurora by his father, James “Jim” Pitzen, on May 11, 2011. He was picked up shortly after by his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, who took him on a three-day trip to various amusement and water parks, before she was found dead by suicide in a motel room in Rockford, according to Wikipedia.
Fry-Pitzen left a suicide note saying Timmothy was safe but would never be found.
Rowley said that, if anything good came from the past 48 hours, it was the heightened awareness of the case and the potential for a breakthrough in the investigation.
Pitzen’s aunt, Kara Jacobs, told CBS This Morning that the family still has hope.
“We know that you are out there somewhere, Tim,” she said. “We will never stop looking for you, praying for you and loving you.”