The family of an Illinois boy who disappeared in 2011 said they fear harassment from an Ohio man who, in 2019, claimed to be the missing boy.
Timmothy Pitzen’s aunt, Jen West, told The Sun that Brian Rini lives near her following his release from jail for masquerading as her missing nephew. She said she is afraid Rini will somehow find her mother, who has the same last name as Pitzen, and find a way to harass her.
“I’m happy he doesn’t live anywhere near my brother [Timmothy’s dad], but the thought of him just roaming around somewhere nearby makes me feel uneasy,” West told the news outlet.
Pitzen, who turned 17 last week, was six when he vanished from a hotel and water park in Wisconsin with his mother in 2011. Days later, Pitzen’s mother was found dead in a hotel in Rockford, Illinois. She reportedly left a suicide note stating that her son was safe and in someone else’s care, but he would never be found.
Years later, in 2019, Rini approached a woman in Kentucky and falsely claimed to be Pitzen, who would have been 14. However, the 23-year-old admitted to lying about being the missing boy after he was taken to a hospital to undergo a DNA test.
Rini was charged with identity fraud and lying to the FBI, but he ultimately pleaded guilty to a lesser charge. He was released on probation in December 2020.
“His lies brought up every single feeling we had initially when Tim disappeared,” West told The Sun. “He’s an absolute garbage person who I would not put anything past.”
West said she believes Rini received a light sentence for giving her family false hope that her nephew was found. Nevertheless, she said she believes the boy is still alive.
She told The Sun, “He’s still very much a part of our lives. Even though he’s not physically with us I can’t send him a birthday gift or ask him how art class was, but my kids know about him and he’s very much a part of us still.”
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[Feature Photo: Timmothy Pitzen/NCMEC; Bryan Michael Rini/Police Handout]