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Grand jury indicts Ohio man accused of pretending to be missing Illinois boy

Brian Rini court sketch 2
Posted at 10:11 AM, Apr 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-18 11:26:25-04

CINCINNATI -- A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted an Ohio man who is accused of pretending to be a missing boy from Illinois, federal officials said.

A grand jury indicted Brian Michael Rini, 23, on two counts of making false statements and one count of aggravated identity theft.

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.

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 April 3, 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.

A federal magistrate ordered Rini be detained pending his trial.

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.

Rini is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment at 1:30 p.m. Friday.