NEWPORT, Ky. — The family of Timmothy Pitzen was waiting to see if a boy found in the Cincinnati suburb of Newport, Kentucky, on Wednesday could be the same child who has been missing since 2011, but it turned out to be another false lead.
The FBI said it was conducting DNA tests of a boy who, according to a police report, identified himself as 14-year-old Timmothy Pitzen. However, the test results indicate the person is not Timmothy, the FBI in Louisville said Thursday.
"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 spokesman said in a written statement. "Unfortunately, that day will not be today."
According to sources, the man who claimed to be Pitzen is Bryan Michael Rini, 23. He is from Medina, which is near Cleveland. According to Medina court records, Rini was arrested in 2017 for burglary and vandalism. He was also charged in 2016 for making a false police report.
Pitzen, of Aurora, Illinois, hasn't been seen since he was 6 years old. After his mother was found dead of apparent suicide, police found his blood in the back seat of her SUV. Family members thought the blood might have been from a bloody nose a year before.
Timmothy's aunt, Kara Jacobs, said the family is grateful for all the support from well-wishers.
"We know that you are out there somewhere, Tim, and we will never stop looking for you, praying for you and loving you," she said.
Jacobs said the family was "devastated" by the news. She said she's reserving judgment about Rini and urged people to also pray for him.
"There are far too many lost children in desperate need of help," she said. "We hope our tragedy will hope to shed some light on the horrific problems of suicide and missing children in our country."
Following the announcement that the boy is not Timmothy, the FBI said it will continue to support the investigation. Aurora police Sgt. Bill Rowley said they hope the attention to the case could lead to genuine tips about Timmothy's whereabouts.
"It created a renewed awareness in the case, so I think that's probably good," Rowley said. "It's good that it's got people thinking about the case again.
Following the announcement that the boy is not Timmothy, the FBI said it will continue to support the investigation. They asked anyone with genuine information about the case to call Aurora police at 630-256-5000 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.