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Brian Rini, man accused of claiming to be missing boy Timmothy Pitzen, to be detained pending trial

Posted: 6:45 AM, Apr 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-09 18:20:25-04
Brian Rini court sketch
Brian Rini court sketch 2
WCPO_Brian_Rini.jpg
Brian Rini

CINCINNATI — A federal magistrate ordered on Tuesday that the man accused of claiming to be a missing boy from Illinois be detained pending his trial.

When neighbors found 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini wandering the streets of Newport, Kentucky on Wednesday, he told them he was Timmothy Pitzen, a 14-year-old boy who had been missing for years, according to federal officials.

U.S. Magistrate Karen Litkovitz ordered Rini be held without bond because she believes he's a flight risk.

Ben Glassman, the U.S. attorney representing southern Ohio, said the order to detain Rini was based on many factors.

"He had no stable residence, no stable employment, no third-party custodian who could say, 'Oh, he could stay with me,'" Glassman said. "Also, a lengthy criminal record."

Rini's criminal record began when he was 13 years old, Litkovitz said. Also, she said Rini's active warrants and his mental health history were factors that convinced her Rini should be detained.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 19 to decide if there's probable cause.

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 Wednesday, Rini complained of abdominal pain and was driven to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

He also 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.

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. The FBI asked anyone with information about Rini's activities over the past few months to call 1-800-225-5324.