An escaped convict just re-opened the wounds of James Pitzen when he claimed to be Timmothy, James' son who has been missing for seven years now.
In a heart-wrenching interview with NBC, James reacted to the most recent person who came forward with the false claim that they were Timmothy Pitzen. The video is found below.
Timmothy went missing in 2011 after his mother took him home early from school then went to a motel where she shot herself. She left a note saying that James would "never find" their son.
Since then a number of hoaxes have been made, with Brian Michael Rini committing the most recent one. The 23-year-old told Kentucky police that he was Timmothy and that he had escaped from two kidnappers in southwestern Ohio.
At first, James was ready to have his son back again. "I've got to get him stable and back to trusting people," he told PEOPLE initially. He was already dreaming of the time he would spend with his son after so long.
However, Rini's answers to the questions police asked were not consistent with Timmothy's past life. While he knew the boy's date of birth, he did not know that Timmothy had a pet.
A DNA test unearthed Rini's true identity and led to an arrest. Yet James had already suspected it was a hoax when police said that Rini "didn't carry himself like a 14-year-old."
In the interview, James described the result of Rini's actions as "like a scab being ripped open." Very understandably, James said it was "just painful. Now you've gotta wait for the scab to heal."
Despite the amount of time that has elapsed since Timmothy's disappearance and the most recent developments, James is adamant that his son is still alive.
He told NBC:
“He is alive somewhere. I know he is. He’s probably in the middle of nowhere, being home-schooled, someplace away from media and TV’s, and technology."
James was hopeful, even looking at the positive side of Rini's actions:
"Exposure helps get his face back out there. [We should] get a description of what he might look like at this time. You can't give up hope."
"As soon as you give up hope then, what should I do? Declare him dead? I'm not gonna do that."
The News station showed a picture of what Timmothy might be looking like today. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts can reach out to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 1-800-843-5678.
Rini reportedly learned about Timmothy through a "20/20 episode that aired earlier this year. He is being held without bond due to Magistrate Karen Litkovitz' belief that he may be a flight risk.
His mental health background and a history of criminal activity starting from age 13 have also contributed to his detainment. Meanwhile, Timmothy's family is still reeling from the blow. Our hearts go out to them.