(NBC News) — An Ohio man who made headlines Wednesday by claiming he is Timothy Pitzen, a child missing since 2011, is now facing federal charges.
23-year-old Brian Rini appeared in federal court in Cincinnati Friday morning, charged with lying to federal investigators.
Rini was hospitalized Wednesday after approaching a woman on the street in Newport, Kentucky and asking for help. He told her his name was Timmothy Pitzen, and that he’d been held hostage for years by two men he’d just escaped from in nearby Ohio.
Prosecutors say Rini’s story unraveled when DNA failed to match him to Pitzen’s family, and it’s not the first time he’s made similar claims.
“Rini had actually on two prior occasions claimed to be a victim of juvenile sex trafficking and that on those occasions he had been discovered, his true identity had been discovered when he had been fingerprinted,” said U.S. Attorney Ben Glassman.
Timmothy Pitzen was last seen in 2011, when he was just 6 years old, at a water park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin.
His mother was later found dead of an apparent suicide in a motel room in Rockford, Illinois along with a note saying Timmothy was with people who loved him, and would never be found.