This undated photo provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Cincinnati shows Brian Rini. A day of false hope has given way to questions about why Rini would claim to be an Illinois boy who disappeared eight years ago. The FBI declared Rini's story a hoax Thursday, April 4, 2019, one day after he identified himself to authorities as Timmothy Pitzen, who disappeared in 2011 at age 6. (Hamilton County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Missing boy's grandmother hopes hoax will generate new leads

April 06, 2019 - 2:22 pm

WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — The grandmother of an Illinois boy missing since 2011 hopes publicity surrounding a hoax perpetrated by a man claiming to be her grandson will generate new leads in the case.

The Wooster Daily Record reports 71-year-old Linda Pitzen said she had mixed emotions when she learned Wednesday that Timmothy Pitzen might have been found. She said that while it gave her hope, it was "frightening" to wonder whether Timmothy, who went missing when he was 6, would remember his name after "supposedly being kept captive" for so long.

Authorities learned it was 23-year-old Brian Rini, of Ohio, who claimed to be 14-year-old Timmothy. Rini was charged Friday in federal court with making false statements.

Rini's brother, Jonathan, told The Associated Press he has "deep sorrows" for Timmothy's family.

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