Missing boy’s impersonator only doubles pain for hopeful family

Timmothy Pitzen, left, who has been missing since 2011; his impersonator, Brian Michael Rini, right, who falsely claimed that he was the missing boy.

Only in the last few years have posters of missing young people been wrapped around lampposts in Ireland, accompanied by friends and family handing out leaflets in the street in the sadly wilted hope that some stranger will remember something.

Most of those posters show girls and boys in their late teens or early twenties, whereas, in the US, milk cartons carry photographs of children as young as four, in some cases alongside pictures, computer-enhanced, of some approximation of how they might look today. Which, in turn, hammers home the length of time they have been missing.

Timmothy Pitzen disappeared in 2011, aged six, in Illinois. His mother took him out of kindergarten before closing time, visited a zoo and a water park with him, then killed herself, leaving a note telling the police that her son was in good hands. “You’ll never find him,” the note said.

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