CHICAGO (CBS) — It’s a difficult day for the community of Aurora as the FBI has learned the person claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen, the Aurora boy who disappeared nearly eight years ago, was actually 23-year-old Brian Rini of Medina, Ohio.
“Well, I’m disappointed,” said Aurora police spokesman Sgt. Bill Rowley. “I’m disappointed that this appears to be either a hoax or some person that’s obviously lying about who he was. But I feel terrible for the grandmother and the aunt and the father. As a parent myself, I feel for them that this is yet another time when they’ve had their hopes raised potentially. I really feel bad for them. I hope that some day we’re able to find young Timmothy and find out where he was and what happened to him, so that we can reunite that family again.”
Many in the community are just as disappointed, but some aren’t giving up hope Timmothy will be found alive someday. That includes the family that bought his childhood home.
It’s been nearly eight years since Timmothy left the Aurora home to go to school and never returned.
He was just six years old at the time.
According to police Pitzen’s mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, checked him out of Greenman Elementary School on May 11 and then took him to the Brookfield Zoo and a couple of water parks where surveillance cameras captured images of them, including the last known image of Timmothy.
On May 14, 2011 Fry-Pitzen was found dead in a Rockford motel room. Police say she took her life and left a chilling note saying Timmothy was safe but would never be found.
Five years ago Pitzen’s father sold their Aurora home.
The new home owners remodeled it and changed the outside, but by phone, Pedro Melendez Jr., told CBS 2 he and his wife keep Timmothy’s playground in case the child ever finds his way back to the house.
Melendez said they have young children, too, and his wife thought the playground would be what Timmothy might remember most.
The couple also kept a piece of the old porch, which has Timmothy’s hand print and foot print from 2009.
Aurora police said even though it’s disappointing that the person who came forward was not Timmothy, the lead certainly caused a buzz around the case, and that could lead to new leads that help them actually find Timmothy.