Man Who Pretended To Be Long-Lost Missing Boy Sentenced For Identity Theft

Aurora, Illinois. By Nejdet Duzen. Shutterstock.

Melanie Wilcox Contributor
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A man who falsely claimed to be a missing Illinois child was sentenced to two years behind bars, according to The Independent.

In April 2019, FBI agents arrested Brian Michael Rini, 25, for claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen, an Aurora, Illinois, boy who disappeared at age six in 2011, The Independent reported. Rini, of Medina, Ohio, had told authorities in 2019 in northern Kentucky that he escaped captors who had abused him.

A DNA test proved that Rini was not Pitzen, The Independent reported. His DNA was already on file because he had been in jail for burglary and vandalism. Rini said he lied about his identity after watching an episode of ABC’s “20/20” in order to escape his own family, the FBI said.

Rini apologized to U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett during his video hearing Tuesday for claiming to be the missing boy. Rini was charged with aggravated identity theft, according to The Independent. (RELATED: Man Accused Of Distributing Drugs Via Railroad Stole Dead Baby’s Identity To Evade Law Enforcement)

The judge told Rini to receive mental health treatment, not possess drugs or guns and to not ever make contact with the missing boy’s family, The Independent reported. Rini will be on probation in less than four months because he got credit for time served.