Timmothy Pitzen's Disappearance – Recap and New Details about the Missing Aurora Boy a Decade After

Edduin Carvajal
May 13, 2021
09:56 A.M.

The disappearance of Timmothy Pitzen shocked Illinois and the rest of the US, mainly because his mother wrote nobody would ever find him and then took her own life.


Timmothy Pitzen’s dad, Jim Pitzen, will never forget what happened on May 11, 2011. He dropped his six-year-old boy at Greenman Elementary School in Aurora, Illinois, told him he loved him and to be good, and left.

Only 30 minutes later, Timmothy’s mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, went to the school claiming she needed to check her son out due to a family emergency. They left the school at 8:30 a.m. and never made it back home.

Timmothy Pitzen and Amy Fry-Pitzen before the incident | Photo: YouTube/CBS This Morning

Timmothy Pitzen and Amy Fry-Pitzen before the incident | Photo: YouTube/CBS This Morning



It is important to point out that Jim didn’t know Amy had picked Timmothy up from school until he returned at the end of the day. He checked everywhere but didn’t find them.

Jim also called Amy’s phone but went straight to voicemail. The following day, still with no clue of Amy or Timmothy’s whereabouts, he reported the two missing.


Timmothy’s dad eventually revealed he and Amy were going through a difficult moment in their relationship but never expected she would do such a thing. He said she had previously tried to kill herself and had been taking anti-depressants.

Apart from that, Amy had previously mentioned her wish to get a divorce. Her friends and family have speculated she was afraid a judge would give Jim Timmothy's custody due to her history of mental illness if they ever divorced.

[Amy] pointed out that Timmothy was safe with people who loved him.



Although Amy refused to pick up Jim’s calls, she would make reassuring calls to the police, Jim’s brother, and her mother. Amy told her mom everything was okay, and they would come back home after a couple of days because she needed some space.

She told Jim’s brother, however, that Timmothy “belongs to me.” Authorities later discovered that Amy took her son to a zoo and then spent two nights at a nearby indoor water-park resort.

Security footage showed the boy actually happy and having fun. At some point, he appeared playing with new toys Amy bought for him.


Unfortunately, Timmothy Pitzen was last seen on CCTV camera next to his mother on May 13, 2011, at the Kalahari resort in Wisconsin. Later that day, Amy was spotted on a security camera at a grocery store in Rockford, Illinois. She was alone.

That same night, she checked into a nearby hotel. The following morning, a housekeeper walked into her room and discovered her lifeless body and a note that read, “you will never find him.”

Amy also apologized for the mess and pointed out that Timmothy was safe with people who loved him. Although the police’s investigation covered three states and the case made headlines everywhere, the missing Aurora boy hasn't been found.



In 2019, Timmothy Pitzen’s story got an update. A supposedly 14-year-old teen claimed he had been kidnapped for years but escaped his captors and wanted to return home. He identified himself as Timmothy Pitzen.

The missing Illinois boy’s family was cautiously optimistic. Alana Anderson, his maternal grandmother, said they never forgot about him and would frequently contact the police for updates.


A DNA test showed that the alleged teen wasn’t Timmothy but a 23-year-old convicted felon named Brian Michael Rini. He was eventually charged with making false statements to federal agents and faced up to eight years behind bars.

Brian’s brother, Jonathon Rini, revealed he had been diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome and bipolar disorder. Brian pointed out that he wanted to get away from his own family and wished he had a father like Jim.

For Timmothy’s family, the whole incident was nothing short of heartbreaking. Jim said it was like ripping off a scab, while Anderson just labeled it as “awful” and “exhausting.”


A woman named Lindsey Casares has been investigating the case independently and believes the boy might be in a 10-acre wooded area in Whiteside County.

Police have not received any solid leads in years, though. The case is still open, and authorities will keep following any potential tips to bring Timmothy Pitzen back home.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text "help" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

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