Timmothy Pitzen case: Impostor learned of case through TV show ‘20/20’, FBI says

Brian Rini, charged with making false statements for claiming he was missing child Timmothy Pitzen of Aurora, Ill., said he learned about the case through an episode of the TV program “20/20.”

Officials said Rini repeatedly told federal law enforcement agents he was Pitzen, who went missing in 2011.

Wednesday morning, Rini approached a vehicle in Newport, Ky., said he was a kidnapping victim and asked for help.

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He was taken to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and told FBI agents he was Timmothy Pitzen, according to officials.

Rini refused to allow authorities to fingerprint him, but did provide a swab so DNA could be tested, law enforcement officials said.

While awaiting those results, the FBI and law enforcement in multiple states initiated a sex trafficking investigation. Rini had relayed detailed information to the FBI about how he had been abducted, suffered physical and sexual abuse, and had just recently escaped from a location in Cincinnati.

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The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office tested the DNA and able was to quickly determine he was not Pitzen.

When FBI agents asked Rini again about his story, he repeated he was Pitzen and had escaped from a hotel. When confronted when the DNA results, officials said, he immediately said he was not Pitzen.

Further investigation showed Rini had twice before claimed to be the victim of child sex trafficking.

He could be sentenced up to eight years in prison if convicted. He remains in jail without bond and is scheduled for a detention hearing in Hamilton County on Tuesday.

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