A 24-year-old Ohio man, arrested earlier this year for impersonating a missing boy, is due in court soon.
NBC News reports that Brian Michael Rini, who has been in jail since April, is scheduled to go before a federal judge on January 8. On October 31, he was found competent to stand trial after authorities accused of him of impersonating Timmothy Pitzen, a boy who disappeared in 2011.
According to court documents, there is a possibility that Rini’s case will settle before going to trial. Public defender Richard Monahan told a judge in October that discussions between the defense and prosecution “are going to likely be fruitful,” although Rini previously pleaded not guilty to aggravated identity theft and being untruthful to the FBI.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, police Rini was found wandering around in Kentucky in April after someone reported a young person in the area who looked as if “he didn’t belong there.”
“[He was] walking around the east side of Newport and didn’t seem like he belonged there.… Things didn’t look right,” Newport Police Chief Tom Collins said.
When questioned, Rini reportedly said he was 14 years old and kidnapped years ago, but finally managed to escape while being held at a Red Roof Inn. He said he didn’t know the exact location of the hotel. Authorities searched area hotels, but nothing substantial was found.
The man also said that his kidnappers had been holding him captive for seven years and that his name was Timmothy. The real Timmothy Pitzen vanished from the Chicago area in 2011 while with his mother. Timmothy’s mother was later found deceased in a hotel room after taking her own life.
READ MORE: Where is Timmothy Pitzen?
After officials gave Rini a DNA test, the results confirmed that he was a grown man with a lengthy criminal history.
In 2015, Rini was charged with “making false alarms involving a law enforcement agency,” according to the Post. During the same year, he was convicted of passing off bad checks. In 2017, he was arrested for causing more than $1,000 in damages to a home, the Medina Gazette reported.
Further, court documents stated Rini was sentenced to 18 months in prison at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction for vandalism and burglary. He was released in March 2019.
Although DNA test results confirmed that there was no match to the missing boy, the FBI stressed that the search for Timmothy is not over.
“To be clear, law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite him with his family,” an FBI spokesperson stated. “Unfortunately, that day will not be today.”
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[Feature Photo: Timmothy Pitzen/NCMEC; Bryan Michael Rini/Police Handout]