The person who claimed to be 14-year-old Timmothy Pitzen, giving false hope to the long-missing Illinois child's family, is actually a 23-year-old man described by police as a "known schemer." Police in Newport, Ky., say the man found wandering in the city Wednesday has been identified as Brian Michael Rini from Medina, Ohio, WLWT reports. Rini, who has a long criminal record and a history of mental illness, was released from an Ohio prison around a month ago after serving 14 months for burglary and vandalism, reports CNN. In Newport, he claimed to be Timmothy, who disappeared in 2011 when he was 6 years old. Rini claimed to have escaped two kidnappers at a Red Roof Inn.
Rini has not been charged, though brother Jonathon Rini tells News 19 he hopes he goes to prison, "or at least an institution." "I haven't spoken to him in years," he says. "He’s been doing stupid stuff as long as I can remember." Timmothy''s mother took her own life three days after taking the boy out of school on May 11, 2011. She left a note saying the boy was safe but would never be found. The hoax "is devastating. It's like reliving that day all over again," Timmothy's aunt, Kara Jacobs, tells ABC7. Timmothy's father, she says "is devastated once again." She expressed sympathy, however, for Rini. The family and police hope the hoax will at least bring fresh attention to the case. "We know that you are out there somewhere, Tim, and we will never stop looking for you," Jacobs says. (Read more missing child stories.)