CHICAGO (CBS) — Jim Pitzen is the father of Timmothy Pitzen, who has been missing since 2011. Jim Pitzen grew up in Clinton, Iowa and went back home to live months after his son’s disappearance. Now word that Timmothy may have been found alive is capturing the attention of the river town.

Timmothy Pitzen was 6 years old when he disappeared in 2011. An age-progressed image from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, released in 2018, shows how he would look at age 13. (Source: Aurora Police/National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

Pitzen’s home is quiet. No one answered the door when CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov rang the bell.

It’s been almost eight years since Pitzen’s 6-year-old son vanished without a trace after spending two days traveling with his mother.

“I just miss my son, and I wish he was here,” Pitzen said in 2011.

To this day, Timmothy’s picture still covers Pitzen’s Facebook page.

“I just can’t imagine what he’s been going through,” said Troy Murphey, Pitzen’s high school classmate.

Murphy went to high school with Pitzen. He is simply stunned at hearing Timmothy may be alive and in Ohio.

“I got two boys of my own, and I just, I can’t imagine what he’s going through or what he’s feeling. It’s just, I’m a little goosebumpy right now, too, so I mean, wow,” Murphy said.

Hope is a prevalent emotion for Timmothy’s maternal grandmother, Alana Anderson, who had one message.

“That we never stopped looking for him. We are thinking about him, and we love him, and we will do everything to get him back to a good life,” she said.

CBS 2 could not reach Jim Pitzen for comment. It was unclear if he was still in Iowa Wednesday night or on his way to Cincinnati, where the boy claiming to be Timmothy was hospitalized.