CINCINNATI (WLWT) — Brian Rini, the man at the center of the Timmothy Pitzen hoax, is set to go on trial Monday in federal court.
Rini was found in Northern Kentucky by concerned residents and later told FBI agents his name was Timmothy Pitzen and he had just escaped two captors in the area who had been holding him hostage for seven years.
FBI agents disproved his claims with a DNA test, which confirmed he was Rini, from Medina, Ohio.
The DNA test also revealed Rini’s lengthy criminal history. He was released from the Belmont Correctional Institute just a month prior, after serving time for burglary and vandalism.
He has been in and out of jail in years prior on a wide range of charges, ranging from passing bad checks and making false alarms to theft and falsification.
Rini’s claims brought Pitzen’s story back into the national spotlight, 7 years after he was reported missing.
Pitzen was 6 years old when he disappeared in 2011 during a 600-mile road trip with his mother that would lead him from Aurora through the Wisconsin Dells.
After the 600-mile trip, the boy’s mother — Amy Fry Pitzen — was found dead of an apparent suicide in a Rockford, Illinois, motel room.
A note left behind by Pitzen in the motel said her 6-year-old son was safe in someone’s care, but she did not indicate who that person was.
Rini, who was already on parole and probation for a series of other incidents, now faces the possibility of 8 more years in federal prison if convicted.