A man who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, who disappeared in 2011 at age 6, has been sentenced to two years in prison for aggravated identity theft, federal prosecutors say.
Brian Michael Rini, 24, of Medina, Ohio, was indicted by a grand jury on April 18, 2019. He pleaded guilty in January 2020 and was sentenced Tuesday in US District Court in Cincinnati.
The case began in April 2019, when police responded to reports of a male acting suspiciously in a neighborhood in Newport, Kentucky, US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio Ben Glassman told CNN at the time.
When police arrived, Rini told them he was Timmothy and he had escaped captors as a victim of sex trafficking, Glassman said. DNA test swabs later showed that Rini was not the boy.
CNN has reached out to Rini's public defender, Richard Monahan, for comment.
In May 2011, Timmothy's mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, checked her young son out of elementary school and took him to a zoo and a Wisconsin water park. His mother's body was found three days later in a hotel room in Rockford, Illinois, more than 70 miles from their home in Aurora, Illinois.
She died by suicide, leaving behind a note that said Timmothy was with people who loved him. "You'll never find him," the note said.
"We know that Timmothy will absolutely be found one day and we look forward to the day that he is able to share his own story and hopefully help other people in the process," his aunt Kara Jacob told CNN in January.