Man claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen charged with federal crime

CINCINNATI, Ohio -- An Ohio man was federally charged with making false claims to federal agents about missing Illinoisan Timmothy Pitzen.

Brian Rini, 23, first told officers he was Pitzen after someone reported him wandering around on the street. He said he was abducted when he was six years old and he "just wanted to go home," according to a statement from the Department of Justice.

Pitzen disappeared in 2011 when his mother was found dead days later in a Rockford motel along with a note saying her son was “safe” with people who would take care of him. Authorities said she killed herself. The note she left also said, “You’ll never find him.”

When Rini was asked to provide his fingerprints, he refused, according to the DOJ. However, he did agree to have the inside of his cheek swabbed and tested, which provided investigators with his identity.

A previously convicted felon, Rini's records were already on file. When confronted, Rini admitted he was not Pitzen, saying he wished he had a father like the missing teen's dad.

The FBI found that Rini had pulled similar stunts on two other occasions, but he was identified both times through fingerprinting.

Rini is being prosecuted for lying to federal agents. According to the DOJ, this is a federal crime punishable by up to eight years.

Related: Families of missing persons in the QC speak out on Pitzen hoax

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