Disappearance of Timmothy Pitzen
Timmothy James Pitzen
October 18, 2004
Aurora, Illinois, U.S.
|Disappeared||May 11, 2011|
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, U.S.
|Status||Missing for 7 years, 10 months, 23 days|
|Education||Greenman Elementary School|
On May 11, 2011, six-year-old American boy Timmothy James Pitzen (//) was dropped off at school in Aurora, Illinois by his father James Pitzen. He was picked up shortly after by his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, who took him on a three-day trip to various amusement and water parks. Fry-Pitzen's body was subsequently found in a motel room in the town of Rockford, Illinois, having committed suicide, with a note stating that Timmothy was safe.
Timmothy was born in Aurora, Illinois to parents James Pitzen and Amy Joan Marie Fry-Pitzen in 2004. On May 11, 2011, his father dropped him off at his kindergarten class at Greenman Elementary School. His mother checked him out of class between 8:10 and 8:15 AM CDT, citing a non-existent family emergency. She dropped her vehicle off at a repair shop at 10:00 AM. An employee of the shop drove Pitzen and her son to the Brookfield Zoo. They returned and retrieved their vehicle at 3:00 PM, and drove to the KeyLime Cove Resort in Gurnee, Illinois, where they spent the night. The next morning, the pair drove to Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and were spotted on security footage in the checkout line at 10:00 AM.
Between 12:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. on May 13, Fry-Pitzen telephoned several family members, including her mother and brother-in-law, telling them that she and Timmothy were safe and not in any danger. Cellphone records indicated the calls were made from an area northwest of Sterling, near Route 40. She failed to contact her husband, however, who had been attempting to locate the pair after being notified by his son's school that he was not present when he arrived to pick him up at the end of the school day on May 11. Timmothy was heard in the background during the calls, saying that he was hungry. This was the last time that police could prove both mother and child were together. At 7:25 p.m. that evening, Fry-Pitzen was seen, alone, on security cameras at a Family Dollar store in Winnebago, where she purchased a pen, notepaper and envelopes. At 8:00 p.m., she was sighted at a Sullivan's Food store in Winnebago, again unaccompanied. At 11:15 p.m., she checked into the Rockford Inn at Rockford, where sometime that night or the next morning, she took her own life by slashing her wrists and neck and taking an overdose of antihistamines. At 12:30 p.m. on May 14, her body was found by a hotel maid along with a note. In the note, Fry-Pitzen apologized for the mess she had created, and explained that Timmothy would never be found, but was safe with people who would care for him.
Police found that the knife Fry-Pitzen had used to kill herself contained only her blood, but that "a concerning amount" of blood found in her car belonged to her son Timmothy. It was also noted that Fry-Pitzen's cellular phone was missing. An examination of her vehicle revealed that it had been parked in a grassy area, possibly near a stream, but close to a highway. In 2013, Fry-Pitzen's cellular phone was located beside Route 78, but the discovery did not bring any new evidence. James Pitzen has stated that he believes his son is still alive. The case was broadcast on the American television series Live PD, in the "Missing" segment of the August 25, 2018 episode, with guest Angeline Hartmann of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, who showed viewers an age progression photograph of Timmothy at age 13.
On April 3, 2019, local residents in Newport, Kentucky called the police to report a teenager wandering the streets after running across a bridge over the Ohio River. When police found the shaken and distraught boy, he told them he was Timmothy Pitzen. The next day, the Louisville, Kentucky office of the FBI revealed via Twitter that the boy in their custody was not Pitzen. Aurora Police spokesman Sgt. Bill Rowley said, "Although we are disappointed that this turned out to be a hoax, we remain diligent in our search for Timmothy, as our missing person's case remains unsolved." The man who claimed to be Pitzen was found to be 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini. He was released from Belmont Correctional Institution in Ohio less than a month prior to his claim, after serving about 14 months on charges of burglary, a third-degree felony, and vandalism, a fifth-degree felony, out of Medina County, Ohio.
- May, Ashley; Hafner, Josh (April 4, 2019). "Timmothy Pitzen found? Here's a list of kids found alive after their disappearances made headlines". USA Today. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- "Woman Reports Possible Sighting of Missing Boy". NBC Chicago. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
- "TIMMOTHY PITZEN". missingkids.com. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- "Timmothy James Pitzen – The Charley Project". The Charley Project. September 6, 2018. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
- "Cops: Missing Aurora boy's last known locations Wednesday, May 11 Thursday, May 12 Friday, May 13 Saturday, May 14". Daily Herald. Arlington Heights, IL. May 26, 2011. p. 5.
- "Search for missing boy on hold". WGN-TV. Chicago, IL. May 26, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- "Woman Found Dead In Motel, 6-Year-Old Son Missing". CBS Chicago. Chicago, IL. May 15, 2011. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- Mattera, Jason (April 25, 2017). "Timmothy Pitzen, 6, missing after mother found dead by suicide". Crime Watch Daily. Telepictures Productions Inc. Warner Bros. Entertainment. Archived from the original on August 25, 2018. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
- Podgorski, Kimberly (August 11, 2011). "New details emerge in case of missing Aurora boy". Chicago Tribune.
- "Three years pass without any sign of Illinois boy". blog.missingkids.com. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- Leonardi, James (May 15, 2017). "Father of Timmothy Pitzen Desperate To Find His Son After 6 Years". My State Line. Lakana LLC. Retrieved August 25, 2018.
- "Have you seen this child?". Missing kids. Retrieved August 25, 2018.[dead link]
- Feuerherd, Ben (April 3, 2019). "Teen tells police he is missing Illinois boy Timmothy Pitzen". New York Post. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- "Aurora Police Travel to Cincinnati for Missing Child Case". NBC Chicago. April 3, 2019. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
- "Teen in Cincinnati is not missing Aurora boy Timmothy Pitzen, FBI says". Chicago Tribune.
- Shaw, Courtney (April 4, 2019). "Man claiming to be missing boy is actually 23 years old and from Medina, police say". news5cleveland.com. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
- reports, Akron Beacon Journal staff and wire. "FBI says man claiming to be missing boy Timmothy Pitzen actually 23, from Medina". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2019-04-07.