Photo shows what Illinois boy may look like 3 years after he disappeared

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Nearly three years after he disappeared, investigators and family members still hold on to hope that Timmothy Pitzen is alive.

The last time anyone heard from Timmothy was May 13, 2011 when he spoke with a relative via his mother’s cell phone.  Timmothy and his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, were about five miles west of Sterling, Illinois at that time.  Amy had checked Timmothy out of his Aurora, Illinois school two days earlier.

Amy’s body was found in a hotel room May 14, 2011.  Police said she had apparently committed suicide with a knife.

In a post marking two years since Amy’s body was found, a Facebook page dedicated to finding Timmothy said detectives believed the boy was still alive.

Get more of our coverage of Timmothy's disappearance - click here.

"Detectives say a haunting note was left behind saying Timmothy was safe, with someone who loved him and that he would never be found," according to a NCMEC blog.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has released a forensic artist image of what Timmothy might look like today.  Timmothy Pitzen was six years old when he vanished, and is nearly 10 years old now.

“The image created by NCMEC forensic artists is an important tool in our mission to help bring Timmothy home,” said Detective Lee Catavu of the Aurora Police Department. Catavu is the lead investigator in the case.

Timmothy's aunt said she believes, firmly, that he is still alive.  His uncle, Bryan Fry, said Amy behaved as if everything was okay just before her body was found, and he does not believe Amy was capable of harming Timmothy.