Brian Rini, the 23-year-old man who allegedly told police he was a missing 14-year-old boy from Illinois, has been booked in jail on Friday and could face up to eight years in prison for his lie.
Rini, of Medina, Ohio, was jailed on Friday after the FBI declared his story a hoax. As The Guardian reported, Rini was charged with making false statements to authorities.
Police said Brian Michael Rini was found wandering on a street in Kentucky just over the border of Ohio and told police he was the missing boy.
The report noted that Rini refused to be fingerprinted by police after making the claim that he was Timmothy Pitzen, but did agree to a DNA test that ultimately identified him as the 23-year-old. Authorities said Rini had been released from prison on probation less than a month ago after serving a year for vandalism and burglary, and he has a history of making false statements to police.
Rini later told police that he had watched a story about Timmothy on the ABC program 20/20.
The disappearance of Timmothy Pitzen remains shrouded in mystery. Police said his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, took Timmothy from his kindergarten class when the boy was six and brought him on a two-day trip to a zoo and water park. As the Star-Tribune reported, Amy Fry-Pitzen then took her own life inside a hotel room and left a note claiming that her son was safe with people who loved and cared for him, writing, “You will never find him.”
While there had been some fear that Amy Fry-Pitzen killed the boy and hid his body, there were also clues that indicated she may have actually given the child to another person. In the days before her suicide, she bought new clothes and toys for the boy, reports indicated.
The man who claimed to be missing child Timmothy Pitzen is charged with making false statements and may face up to eight years in federal prison. Brian Rini told agents that he learned about the case from an episode of "20/20." https://t.co/olhiysJHlJ pic.twitter.com/7UZ5xlyzWh— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) April 5, 2019
Police said this week that they were wary of Rini’s story, as they had followed a number of false leads in the hunt for Timmothy Pitzen in the past.
Despite the disappointing end to the story this week, authorities said they will not give up in their search for Timmothy Pitzen.
“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,” an FBI spokesperson said this week.
Brian Rini could face up to eight years in prison if convicted of making false statements.