Authorities have rejected a young man’s claim that he is a missing Illinois boy who disappeared in 2011 at age six. Instead, they say, he is a 23-year-old man.
The FBI says DNA testing ruled out the possibility that the person, who claimed to be 14 years old, was Timmothy Pitzen, missing from Aurora, Illinois. Police say the story of the person found wandering streets in Newport, Kentucky, on Wednesday didn’t check out.
Tom Collins, the Newport police chief, told ABC News that the person is Brian Rini of Medina in north-east Ohio. State prison records show a man by that name was released from a state prison on 7 March, after serving time for burglary and vandalism charges.
The person had told police that he was Timmothy and that he had escaped two kidnappers.
Pitzen’s family say they are heartbroken by the news. Kara Jacobs told reporters Thursday that learning her nephew had not been found is “like reliving the day” he disappeared over again. Anderson also said his father, James Pitzen, “is devastated once again”.
Pitzen vanished eight years ago after his mother pulled him out of kindergarten early one day, took him on a two-day road trip to the zoo and a water park, and then killed herself at a hotel. She left a note saying that her son was safe but that no one would ever find him.
In the frantic early days of the search, police found what they said was a significant amount of blood in the backseat of the mother’s SUV, and tests confirmed it was Timmothy’s.
But the boy’s father explained that his son had a history of nosebleeds and had suffered a serious one just days before he disappeared.
Police and the boy’s family say there have been other false sightings over the years.