DNA test results have dashed hopes that long-missing child Timmothy Pitzen had been found alive.
The man, identified as 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini of Medina, Ohio, was found wandering in a Newport, Kentucky neighborhood on Wednesday. A 911 caller told dispatchers that the man asked for help, saying “I just want to get home, please help me.”
Rini told authorities he had just fled from a nearby Red Roof Inn, where he was staying with two men who had held him captive for nearly eight years, and identified himself as the missing child Timmothy Pitzen, who went missing in 2011 and would now be 14 years old.
Rini described his kidnappers as two men of “bodybuilder type build,” adding that one had a snake tattoo and the other a tattoo of a spiderweb. The alleged kidnappers were said to have driven a Ford SUV with Wisconsin plates, according to the police report obtained by CNN affiliate WCPO.
Authorities searched all Red Roof Inns in the area, but failed to find any evidence supporting the man’s claims. On Thursday, a DNA test done at an FBI lab confirmed Rini is not the missing child.
Rini was released from an Ohio prison last month, reported CNN. He served almost 14 months of an 18-month sentence for burglary and vandalism, according to the state department of corrections website.
Rini’s brother, Jonathon, told CNN he was not surprised by his brother’s behavior. “I don’t want to talk to him anymore,” the 21-year-old told the outlet.
Timmothy Pitzen went missing when his mother took the six-year-old out of school and brought him on a three-day road trip. Pitzen was last seen at a Wisconsin water park. His mother, Amy Frye Pitzen, was later found dead in a Rockford, Illinois hotel room. She had died by an apparent suicide, leaving a note that said Timmothy was safe but would never be found.
In the wake of the DNA test results, Pitzen’s family has responded to the news with heartbreak.
“It’s devastating. It’s like reliving that day all over again,” Kara Jacobs, Timmothy’s aunt, told CNN reporters. “Timmothy’s father is devastated once again.”
Rini has been charged with making false statements to federal agents, CNN reported. He appeared in federal court on Friday, where prosecutors asked that he be held without bond. He faces up to eight years in prison.
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