A heartbreaking hoax — The father of a boy who has been missing for eight years was told that his son had been found.
Then he found out the man claiming to be his son was not the missing boy.
Timmothy Pitzen’s father says he is not giving up hope despite this setback.
Jim Pitzen: “Yeah, I got my hopes up with this one. I get excited. Then I’m like, ‘Calm down. You don’t know who it is. Let them do their job. Let them take care of it,'” Jim Pitzen said.
Reporter: “You’ve learned to be patient.”
Jim Pitzen: “It’s the only thing I can be as patient. I’ve had seven and a half years of being patient.”
And this time patience did not prevail after police in Ohio determined this boy spotted in a Kentucky town claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen was actually a 23-year-old man claiming to be the kid from Aurora who vanished in 2011.
Last Thursday any hope of finding Timmothy fell apart.
“I got a phone call at 2:30, a quarter to 3, from the detective. And he goes DNA came back and it’s not Timmothy. So, everything– then it was like– it was all stress and then like stress went away. Then got a little upset with some– got a little upset because I don’t understand why somebody would want to say he’s not who he is,” Pitzen said.
No legitimate leads in over two years, the incredible high followed by the crashing low. It hit Pitzen as hard last week as it did almost eight years ago.
“A wound that’s healed over or started to heal over and they rip it right off,” Pitzen said.
As for the suspect Brian Rini, who law enforcement say trumped up the story, Pitzen says he feels sorry for him.
“He went around the wrong way to try to get attention. I mean if you’re hurting, you seek help,” Pitzen said.
In order to put this horrible news behind him, Jim Pitzen continues to turn his attention to finding his son Timmothy.
Describing the years of waiting as painful, he stays focused on work and tries to carry on. He lives along in Iowa with no wife and no other children.
“I lost my whole family. It’s my day to day struggle. Some days you don’t want to get out of bed. Some days you do,” Pitzen said.
As Aurora Police continue to follow leads, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children continues to pass out age-progressed images.
And Jim Pitzen looks forward to the day a police tip turns out to be more than just a tip.
“He’s alive and it’s just matter of time,” Pitzen said.
He’s waiting for Tim and a long overdue conversation he says between father and son.
“Hello… What’s taken so long? Probably just give him a big hug and cry,” Pitzen said.
Meanwhile, 23-year-old Brian Rini has been charged with lying to investigators and he will remain in jail until his trial.
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