Sadly, the case of Timmothy Pitzen remains unsolved. A teen claimed he was the long-lost boy who went missing nearly a decade ago, but authorities say otherwise.
Update (5:05pm ET): Federal officials said that the teenager who claimed he was the missing Timmothy Pitzen was lying, according to the New York Post. DNA testing proved that the 14-year-old claiming to be Timmothy isn’t the young boy who vanished in 2011 after his mother killed herself. “FBILouisville, @FBICincinnati, @AuroraPoliceIL, Newport PD, @CincyPD, and HCSO have been conducting a missing person investigation. DNA results have been returned indicating the person in question is not Timmothy Pitzen,” @FBILouisville tweeted.
Original: “Can you help me?” a skinny young boy said to Crekasafra Night in Newport, Kentucky on the morning of April 3, according to the Washington Post. “I just want to get home. Please help me.” After the woman contacted the authorities, the teen made a startling claim: he said he was Timmothy Pitzen, the 6-year-old boy who went missing in 2011 after his mother was found dead in an Illinois motel room. Authorities are now working to confirm the identity of the 14-year-old boy, who claims he has been held captive over the past seven years. Here’s what we know so far:
1. Timmothy Pitzen went missing in 2011. Timmothy’s mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, checked her boy out of Greenman Elementary School in Aurora, a suburb located 40 miles west of Chicago, on May 11, 2011. Security footage recovered by the police pieced together their movements over the next few days, as she would take her son to the Brookfield Zoo, then to the KeyLime Cove Resort in Gurnee, Ill. (40 miles north), then to a Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Ultimately, Amy would wind up in Rockford, Illinois.
2. His mother “gave him away.” On May 14, her body was found in a motel room in Rockford. Her wrists had been slashed, and she had swallowed a fatal amount of antihistamines. She left behind three suicide notes – one in the room where she died and two that she mailed to family and a friend. She claimed she had given her son away and he would never be found.
“I’ve taken him somewhere safe,” a portion of one of the notes read, according to Crime Watch Daily (h/t Washington Post.) “He will be well cared for and he says that he loves you. Please know that there is nothing you could have said or done that would have changed my mind.”
3. He says two men have held him captive all this time. “Timmothy” claimed he ran away from two men who had held him captive for seven years, most recently at a nearby Red Roof Inn. He said he was unsure of the hotel’s location – just that he fled his abductors, running across a bridge until he reached Newport that morning. He described his alleged kidnappers as two white males with “bodybuilder-type” builds. One reported has black curly hair and a spiderweb tattoo on his neck. The other, according to “Timmothy,” is short with a snake tattoo on his arms.
4. DNA testing will reportedly be used to confirm his identity. The teen told the authorities that his birthday was Oct. 18, 2004 – the same as Timmothy’s – but to make sure, DNA testing will reportedly be used within the next 24 hours to confirm his identity. “We have no idea if this is Timmothy Pitzen,” Aurora Police Sgt. Bill Rowley told the Chicago Tribune. “We don’t know if it’s a hoax. Obviously, everyone’s hopeful, but we have to be super judicious.”
5. His family is optimistic that the lost boy has been found. “I just prayed that when he was old enough that he would remember us and contact us,” Timmothy’s grandmother, Alana Anderson, told NBC News in the wake of this boy’s admission. “That was kind of the best I could hope for.” Timmothy’s father, Jim Pitzen, is “trying very hard to hold it together” as he awaits the confirmation of the teen’s identity.