OH man due in federal court on false claim about child

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Cincinnati

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Cincinnati

CINCINNATI (AP) - A US magistrate ordered an OH man to remain jailed without bond Tuesday on a charge that he lied to federal agents about being a missing child from IL. He had been released from an OH prison in March after serving a year-long sentence for burglary and vandalism.

Rini's federal public defender Richard Monahan said during the hearing that Rini "has a significant mental health past" and was previously hospitalized for these issues.

"I believe Mr. Rini poses a risk of flight", Magistrate Karen Litkovitz said during a brief hearing in which Rini stood before her in a uniform from the jail with his wrists and ankles shackled.

Police said Brian Michael Rini (left) from Medina, Ohio, lied to investigators when he claimed to be missing IL boy Timmothy Pitzen (right).

According to an affidavit filed in federal court, Rini said his name was Timmothy Pitzen, he'd been abducted when he was 6 years old and he just wanted to go home.

Almost 24 hours later, a DNA test determined the person found was a 23-year-old ex-convict named Brian Michael Rini.

Last week, Rini told police in Newport, Kentucky, he was Timmothy Pitzen and claimed he just escaped from his captors, according to federal investigators. After Newport police officers made contact with him Wednesday, Rini complained of abdominal pain and was driven to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center. Federal authorities have said they were skeptical, especially after he refused to be fingerprinted but didn't want to miss a chance to possibly solve the Pitzen disappearance.

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The Associated Press reported that Rini had twice previously claimed to be a juvenile sex trafficking victim.

In 2017, Rini was treated at an OH center for people with mental health or substance abuse problems, according to court papers.

Timmothy Pitzen disappeared around the time his mother killed herself.

Fry-Pitzen wrote in a note that she left Timmothy with people who would care for him, but that he would never be found.

Rini is said to have admitted he got the idea for a hoax after seeing a story about Pitzen on the ABC show "20/20".

Incredibly, Anderson said the family didn't feel anger towards the fraudster, only pity. His mother had pulled him out of his Aurora, Illinois school and taken him on a short vacation.

Anyone with information on Timmothy Pitzen is asked to call the Aurora Police Department in IL at 630-256-5000 or the Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST.

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