Man who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen found competent to stand trial

Brian Rini (Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Brian Rini (Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Oct. 31, 2019 at 5:01 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (FOX19) - An Ohio man accused of impersonating Timmothy Pitzen, the Illinois boy who went missing in 2011 at age 6, was found competent to stand trial.

A DNA test determined that 23-year-old Brian Rini was not Pitzen.

Pitzen was reported missing in 2011 right around the time his mother committed suicide in an Illinois hotel.

Rini also claimed he was sexually assaulted and trafficked as that child, federal officials announced in April.

“False reports like this can be painful to the families of missing children and also divert law enforcement resources in order to investigate these untruthful claims,” said Herb Stapleton, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s Cincinnati office.

“Law enforcement takes dishonest reports very seriously, and we caution that people making false claims can and will face criminal penalties.”

RELATED: Accused Timmothy Pitzen impersonator charged with making false statements to a federal agent | Man who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen was behind bars as recently as March 2019

Once investigators confronted Rini about the DNA result and his true identity, he immediately stated he was not Pitzen, a statement shows.

Rini said he watched a story about the child on ABC’s “20/20.”

He told investigators he wanted to get away from his own family.

The family of the missing boy, who would be 14 now, said they were devastated after hearing the news.

“It’s been awful," Pitzen’s grandmother, Alana Anderson said. “We’ve been alternately hopeful and frightened. It’s just been exhausting. I feel so sorry for the young man who’s obviously had a horrible time and felt he need to say he was someone else.”

Pitzen’s aunt said: “It’s like living that day all over again. Timothy’s father is devastated once again.”

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman said Pitzen faces up to eight years in prison if convicted of making false statements to a federal agent.

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