US

Brother of ‘Mentally Ill’ Man Who Posed as Missing Boy Apologizes to Timmothy Pitzen’s Family

By Zachary Stieber

A 23-year-old man claimed he was a missing boy but DNA evidence showed he was not. After he was thrown into jail his brother said that he has severe mental health issues and has a history of lying.

Brian Michael Rini, who claimed he was Timmothy Pitzen, was spotted trying to steal a car and told law enforcement officers that he had escaped from kidnappers who had held him since Timmothy’s disappearance in 2011.

After DNA revealed Rini was not the boy, he was arrested and revealed to be a convicted felon.

Rini’s brother spoke out for the first time and said that he has severe mental health issues.

“He has Asperger’s, bipolar disorder, ADHD, the list goes on,” Jonathon Rini said, reported WOIO.

Brian Rini was receiving treatment at one point but he stopped and started getting into more trouble with the law.

“He was receiving treatment, but then he stopped and started getting in more trouble, actually started going to, well … he was in juvy [juvenile hall] a lot when we were kids and then he started going to actual jail, and then he recently just got out of prison,” Jonathon Rini told Fox 8.

Brian Rini was released from prison on March 7. He was behind bars for 18 months for throwing a destructive party in a model home after convincing a realtor that he had $800,000 in his bank account to buy the $400,000 house.

Brian Rini
This undated photo provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Cincinnati shows Brian Rini. (Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

The party causes thousands of dollars in damages.

Court records showed Rini has additional convictions, including passing bad checks in 2015.

Jonathon Rini said his brother started using his name at one point, deepening a rift that was already there to something that caused complete separation.

“Have no compassion for him whatsoever. He used my name in a traffic stop in Norton and then skipped court and I received a traffic warrant for it,” Rini said.

He said that he hopes his brother gets help for his mental illness but that he should go back to jail if he’s convicted of lying to law enforcement.

Timmothy Pitzen
This undated photo provided by the Aurora, Ill., Police Department shows Timmothy Pitzen, missing since 2011. (Aurora Police Department via AP)

“I hope he gets help, I also hope he goes to prison for this or at least an institution,” Jonathon Rini told WOIO.

He also sent a message to Timmothy’s family, reported Fox 8. “I’d tell the family that I’m sorry for what he’s done,” Rini said.

Timmothy’s family said that the situation left them crushed after getting their hopes up.

“It’s been awful,” his grandmother, Alana Anderson told reporters at a press conference on Thursday, according to Reuters. “We’ve been alternately hopeful and frightened. It’s just been exhausting. I feel so sorry for the young man who’s obviously had a horrible time and felt the need to say he was someone else.”

Pitzen’s aunt, Kara Jacobs, added: “It’s like living that day all over again. Timothy’s father is devastated once again.”

“We know that you are out there somewhere Tim. And we will never stop looking for you, praying for you and loving you.”

house of Timmothy Pitzen family
A slab of concrete sits in the backyard of the house where Timmothy Pitzen used to live in Aurora, Ill., picture taken in April 2019. (Carrie Antlfinger/Photo via AP)

“The last morning I had him, he crawled in bed with me and told me I was the best grandma in the whole wide world. So he’s a wonderful little boy and I hope he has the strength of personality to do whatever he needs to do to find us. My prayer has always been that when he was old enough he would find us if we couldn’t find him,” Anderson said. “I am hopeful and certainly hope that if Tim is in a place where he has communication with the media or a computer, that he’ll remember us enough to look for us someday. And I think he will. He’s a very smart guy.”