Brian Rini, man accused of claiming to be missing boy Timmothy Pitzen, to plead guilty

Brian Rini appears in U.S. District Court on April 19, 2019.
Posted at 9:34 AM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-07 11:59:30-05

CINCINNATI — The man accused of telling local authorities he was a missing boy from Illinois will plead guilty, according to court documents.

Brian Michael Rini, 23, will plead guilty to aggravated identity theft, according to a plea agreement filed on Thursday in federal court.

When neighbors found Rini wandering the streets in Newport in April, he told authorities he was Timmothy Pitzen, a 14-year-old boy who had been missing for years, according to federal officials.

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.

After Newport police officers made contact with him, Rini claimed he'd recently escaped from a hotel room where two men had been holding him captive, and that he'd been sexually and physically abused while in captivity, according to the affidavit. But a DNA test revealed his true identity.

Rini has twice before made bogus claims about being a juvenile sex trafficking victim and only admitted to the hoax this time after being confronted with the results of a DNA test, the FBI said.

Rini told authorities he knew about Pitzen from watching a TV show that featured his disappearance, according to court documents.

Aurora police have released a photo of Timmothy and an edited photo from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children showing what he may look like:

Timmothy Pitzen (left) around the time he went missing and a rendering (right) of what he might look like today.

Authorities have asked anyone with genuine information about the case to call Aurora police at 630-256-5000 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.

Rini is scheduled to appear in court before Judge Michael R. Barrett at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday.