Man who claimed to be missing Illinois child to make federal court appearance today

A 23-year-old man who claimed he was a missing boy from Illinois will make an appearance in federal court Tuesday afternoon.


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Brian Michael Rini will appear for a detention hearing at 1:30 p.m. today to determine if he’ll remain in custody, our news partners WCPO-TV in Cincinnati report. Rini is already being held without bond and is facing a federal charge for making false statements.

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Rini approached a vehicle in Newport, Kentucky Wednesday and claimed he was Timmothy Pitzen, a 14-year-old missing from Illinois since 2011. He was transported to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for observation and continued to tell authorities, including the FBI, he was Pitzen, according to investigators.

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Rini refused to allow authorities to fingerprint him, but did provide a swab so DNA could be tested, law enforcement officials said.

While awaiting those results, the FBI and law enforcement in multiple states initiated a sex trafficking investigation. Rini had relayed detailed information to the FBI about how he had been abducted, suffered physical and sexual abuse, and had just recently escaped from a location in Cincinnati.

The Hamilton County Coroner’s Office tested the DNA and able was to quickly determine he was not Pitzen.

When FBI agents asked Rini again about his story, he repeated he was Pitzen and had escaped from a hotel. When confronted when the DNA results, officials said, he immediately said he was not Pitzen.

Further investigation showed Rini had twice before claimed to be the victim of child sex trafficking.

Rini faces eight years in prison if convicted.

Authorities have asked for people with genuine information about the whereabouts of Pitzen to contact the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678 or Aurora, Illinois police at 630-256-5000.

Anyone with details on Rini’s activities over the last few months are asked to contact the FBI at 1-800-225-5324.

We’ll continue to update this story with the latest as it becomes available.

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