Timmothy Pitzen’s family are eagerly awaiting the results of a police DNA test to confirm whether the ‘frightened’ teenager found wandering the streets of Kentucky yesterday is in fact their beloved boy who vanished eight years ago.
Police say the 14-year-old told officers that he’d escaped two kidnappers in Cincinnati and ran across a bridge to Newport, Kentucky. He then told them his name was Timmothy Pitzen.
Timmothy vanished on May 11 2011, after being taken out of school by his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen.
She took him on a three-day holiday before checking in alone to a motel and killing herself. She left a not saying her son was safe, but added: ‘You’ll never find him’.
Yesterday, authorities conducted a DNA test on the teen found by police in Newport to establish whether he really is Timmothy, or if it’s part of an elaborate hoax.
The results are expected to take at least 24 hours to come back, and could be released publicly as early as Thursday afternoon, according to the Aurora Police Department.
Timmothy Pitzen’s grandmother has said her family will ‘do everything to get him back to a good life’ after a teenager came forward claiming to be the missing youngster (pictured before disappearing in 2011)
Residents who live near where the 14-year-old boy was found in Newport, Kentucky, have said the his face was bruised and was ‘very scared and agitated’ (pictured: a photo submitted to CBS Chicago allegedly depicts the boy who claims to be Pitzen)
Timmothy’s grandmother, Alana Anderson, sent a loving message to Timmothy after news broke that a boy had identified himself as her grandson.
She told CBS: ‘We never stopped looking for him, thinking about him and we love him, and we’ll do everything to get him back to a good life.’
Anderson said she was praying the boy was missing her missing grandson but admitted she didn’t want to get her hopes up.
She later described herself as ‘Very cautiously hopeful’ to Fox 19, adding that she hopes ‘he is OK and he’s been in a good place when he was gone.’
Aurora police say they’re remaining wary of the reports that the boy found in Kentucky is claiming to be Timmothy, as they’ve investigated several false sightings since his 2011 disappearance.
‘I have been advised by our investigators that they plan to continue their investigation this morning, however, the details of that investigation remain confidential,’ said Aurora Police Sgt. Bill Rowley.
‘We still have no confirmation of the identity of the person located, but hope to have something later this afternoon or early this evening.’
Alana Anderson (pictured), told her grandson the family ‘never stopped looking for him, thinking about him’ and loving him
The grandmother (sitting on a memorial bench for the youngster) said she was praying the boy was missing Timmothy but admitted she didn’t want to get her hopes up
According to an officer’s dispatch report, the boy told police he was born on October 18, 2004, the same day as Timmothy, and also gave his correct middle name of James.
The report also says the boy claimed that he’d managed to flee ‘from two kidnappers that have been holding him for seven years’.
He said his abductors had most recently been keeping him in a Red Roof Inn, thought to be in Cincinnati, Ohio.
When he saw his chance to escape he fled and ‘kept running across a bridge’ – the state line – and into Newport, Kentucky, police say.
Locals who saw the ‘fidgety’ 14-year-old boy when he was found said that his face was bruised and he appeared to be ‘very scared and agitated’.
‘He walked up to my car and he went, “Can you help me? I just want to get home. Can you just please help me?'” a good Samaritan told a 911 dispatcher. ‘And I asked him what was going on and he told me he’s been kidnapped.’
Timmothy vanished without a trace in 2011 following his mother Amy Fry-Pitzen’s suicide (pictured together)
His mother took Timmothy on a three-day holiday, visiting the zoo and several water-parks before she was found dead inside a Rockford motel room, having committed suicide
One woman revealed to CBS Chicago that the boy told her he’d been running for two hours and that he had ‘been passed around for seven years’.
‘Really you felt bad for him, his face looked like he’d been beat up,’ she said. ‘He had a really big bruise on his face. I was hurt for him’
What happened to Timmothy Pitzen?
On the morning of May 11, 2011, James Pitzen dropped his son off at Greenman Elementary School in Aurora.
At 8:30am, Timmothy’s mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, appeared at the school telling educators that she needed to remove her son from class because of a ‘family emergency’.
Later that day, James returned to the school to pick Timmothy up, but was told Amy withdrew him from class hours earlier.
For more than a day, he found no sign of Timmothy or Amy, until eventually she called James and his brother on May 12, telling them ‘Timmothy is fine. Timmothy belongs to me. Timmothy and I will be fine. Timmothy is safe’.
The last CCTV images of Amy and Timmothy alive together were captured on May 12 as they checked out from the Kalahari Resort, in Wisconsin Dells.
The following day, Amy was spotted alone on CCTV 120 miles away in a supermarket near Rockford, having purchased a pen, paper and some envelopes.
On May 14 she was found dead in her Rockford Inn motel room having committed suicide by slashing her wrists.
A note found next to her body said that Timmothy was safe, and in the care of others, but added: ‘You’ll never find him’.
Timmothy’s identification card was found inside the room, but workers at the motel said Amy had checked-in alone.
Police say they’ve investigated several false leads since Timmothy’s disappearance in 2011.
The last potential breakthrough came in 2014, when a woman said she saw a boy matching his description at her yard-sale. Police were never able to confirm the sighting.
Another resident told ABC7: “He looked like he had been beat up, punched in the face a couple of times. You could see the fear on him and how nervous he was and how he kept pacing. He just looked odd.”
The boy found on Wednesday gave police a detailed description of his alleged kidnappers, who he says have held him captive for more than seven years.
‘Timmothy described the two kidnappers as two male, whites, body-builder type build,’ the police report details.
‘One had black curly hair, Mt. Dew shirt and jeans & has a spider web tattoo on his neck. The other was short in stature and had a snake tattoo on his arms.’
He then described his captor’s vehicle as a new white Ford SUV, with yellow transfer paint and a dent on the rear left bumper, registered to Wisconsin.
Several police departments have been instructed to search Red Roof Inns in both Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, after the boy informed police of alleged escape.
Workers at several of the hotels told WCPO that authorities have spoken to them and requested to access to their guest-lists, but failed to recall anyone matching the description.
‘It’s hard to remember people, to be honest, because of so many people coming in and out,’ Kennedy Slusher, a worker at the Red Roof Inn Beechmont, told the news station. ‘But to hear something like that, it’s kind of mind-blowing. It’s scary.’
Timmothy disappeared on May 11, 2011, shortly after being dropped off at Greenman Elementary School, in Aurora, Illinois, by his father.
The boy, just six-years-old at the time, was later picked-up by his mother, who told the school she needed to take her son home because of a family emergency.
Fry-Pitzen, 43, then took her son on a three-day holiday, visiting the zoo and several water-parks across different state lines.
The last known images of Timmothy and his mother together were captured on CCTV, checking out of the Kalahari Resort, in Wisconsin Dells on May 12.
The last known images of Pitzen and his mother were captured on CCTV, checking out of the Kalahari Resort, in Wisconsin Dells
The following day, Amy was spotted alone by a surveillance camera in a supermarket 120 miles away near Rockford, having purchased a pen, paper and some envelops.
On May 14th she was found dead inside her Rockford Inn motel room, having committed suicide with a series of slashes to her wrists.
She left behind a note that said her son was safe and in the care of others, but added: ‘You’ll never find him’.
‘I was in total shock at the time,’ Timmothy’s dad James Pitzen said to Crime Watch Daily, in 2017. ‘They told me where she was found, in a cheap little motel. She had a razorblade knife and she cut herself.
Timmothy’s Identification card was found among Amy’s possessions, but her son, the Spiderman backpack he’d been pictured leaving school with, and her cellphone were all missing.
James said just hours before she committed suicide he received a call from Amy, telling him: ‘Timmothy is fine. Timmothy belongs to me. Timmothy and I will be fine. Timmothy is safe.
‘She was definitely wrestling with the demons,’ He added. ‘The demons were winning, and they eventually won.’
The 43-year-old mother grappled with depression for the majority of her adult life and attempted to commit suicide at least once before.
Timmothy (shown aged 6) vanished after his mother picked him up from Greenman Elementary School and took him on a three day holiday
A report filed by the Sharonville Police Department on Wednesday details boy’s claims to be Timmothy, and even describes his alleged kidnappers
In an interview with People in 2015, Timmothy’s father, James Pitzen (left), described his son as a ‘little mini-me’ and vowed to never give up searching for him
Shortly before her daughter’s suicide, Anderson received a note from Fry-Pitzen, that read: ‘I’ve taken him somewhere safe. He will be well cared for and he says that he loves you. Please know that there is nothing you could have said or done that would have changed my mind.’
Aurora police launched an investigation spanning three states – including Illinois and Wisconsin – after Amy’s death to find the person allegedly in possession of Timmothy.
Police say they also explored the possibility Amy may her murdered her son in the midst of her turmoil and hidden the child’s body somewhere.
The razorblade-edged knife she used to cut her wrists with showed only traces of her blood.
But three months after Timmothy’s disappearance investigators found a ‘concerning’ amount of blood in the back seat of Amy’s car.
However, hope the six-year-old could still be alive was revived when the blood was later concluded to have come from a nosebleed suffered by the Timmothy several months earlier.
Analysing the exterior of Amy’s SUV, police were able to determine the vehicle had at one stage been parked in a grassy area, near a stream and a road treated with glass beads.
They believed this could have been the location where Amy handed over Timothy to the mysterious third-party, but nothing further came from the evidence.
James Pitzen has previously said he’s never given up hope that his son is alive and will one day return home to him.
‘I always wonder what she told Timmothy, Why hasn’t he tried to call? We taught him how to dial 911. ‘This is your number, this is your mom’s number, you know where you live, your address,’ all the stuff you do,’ he told People in 2015.
‘Maybe I’ll see Tim in the morning,’ James said he often tells himself. ‘Maybe tomorrow they’ll find him.’
Amy was last sighted on surveillance footage at a food market near Rockford on May 13. Timmothy was nowhere to be seen
Timmothy, originally from Aurora, Illinois, was last seen at a water park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin in 2011. The teen told police he had been held by captors ever since and was most recently being held at a Red Roof Inn, thought to be in Cincinnati, Ohio, until he escaped and kept running until he crossed a bridge over the river which acts as a state line and passed into Newport, Kentucky.
After the Kentucky boy claimed to be Timmothy, it gave the family new hope.
Timmothy’s maternal aunt Kara Jacobs told NBC Chicago: ‘We hope it’s true. What’s hard is the story that he escaped from captors. And your mind goes in too many directions that you don’t want to think about,’ .
‘And what I’ve prayed about since he’s been gone is that God will keep him close and take care of him, and that maybe by some stroke of luck, he was with people who would love him. And if that’s not the case, it will be heartbreaking to get through.’
The last breakthrough in the disappearance of Pitzen came in 2014, when a woman hosting a garage sale in northern Illinois dialed 911 to tell police a boy matching his description had been standing in the front-yard of her home.
The call came shortly after police released an aged processing image, speculating what Pitzen may have looked like aged 9.
In an interview with Crime Watch Daily in 2017, James Pitzen described the fateful day he dropped his son off at school and never saw him again.
‘I dropped Timmothy off at school and he hopped out of the back seat and ran off to school,’ he recalled. ‘And I said ‘I love you buddy,’ and he said ‘I love you too, dad, and I’ll see you later,’ and I’m like ‘OK.’ And I watched him run off to class.’
‘Every day I get up and check my phone and wait for the detectives to say ‘Hey, we found Timmothy here,’ he said. ‘It’s going to be a glorious day when he comes home. Just can’t wait. It’s going to be happy. I’m going to cry a lot. I’m going to cry a lot when he comes home.’
Anyone with information is asked to call the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) or Aurora Police at 630-256-5500.