Ex-convict charged with pretending to be long-missing boy Timmothy Pitzen

Accused child impersonator found in Kentucky now in jail

A 23-year-old ex-convict accused of pulling a cruel hoax by pretending to be a long-missing IL boy was charged Friday with making false statements to authorities.

He said authorities did not know for sure that Rini was faking his story until they received the DNA match - but "there were suspicions relatively early if for no other reason than he declined to be fingerprinted".

After confessing that he was not Pitzen, Rini told federal agents he had heard about the missing boy's case on the ABC television program 20/20 and wanted to get away from his own family, according to court documents.

Investigators determined Rini had twice before falsely portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim.

Federal and local law enforcement announced charges against Rini at a press conference Friday morning.

Residents who found him roaming a neighborhood in Newport called 911. Rini was jailed in Cincinnati on Thursday. "When questioned further, Rini stated that he wished he had a father like Timmothy's because if he went missing, his father would just keep drinking", the complaint said.

Records from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction indicate he was charged with burglary and vandalism - both felonies. The crimes occurred in Medina County in January last year, and he was sentenced to one year and six months in prison.

Jonathon also said his brother spent a lot of time "in and out of jail" during his youth from "getting into little bouts of trouble, fights at home".

"He was receiving treatment, but then he stopped and started getting in more trouble", Jonathan Rini said.

"It's devastating. It's like reliving that day all over again", said Timmothy's aunt Kara Jacobs.

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A slab of concrete sits in the backyard of the house where Timmothy Pitzen used to live in Aurora, Illinois, Thursday, April, 2019.

Nearly eight years ago, Timmothy and his mother went on a road trip that included stops at a zoo and a water park.

Pitzen, the missing boy Rini most recently impersonated, has yet to be found, and his case is still open.

His mother, Amy Frye Pitzen, was later found dead in a Rockford, Illinois hotel room. She left a note saying that her son was safe with people who would love and care for him, and added: "You will never find him".

Police responding to a report of a suspicious man encountered Rini in Newport, Kentucky on Wednesday.

"Law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite him with his family", the Federal Bureau of Investigation said after the tests.

The FBI declared the man's story a hoax Thursday one day after he identified himself to authorities as Timmothy Pitzen, who disappeared in 2011 at age 6.

"He walked up to my vehicle and he went, 'Can you help me?' " a 911 caller told dispatchers, according to CNN affiliate WCPO in Cincinnati.

"I'll tell the family that I'm sorry for what he's done", he said. "I don't want to talk to him anymore", the 21-year-old told the outlet.

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