Ohio Man Pretended to be Missing Child
A 24-year-old Ohio man who pretended to be a missing Illinois boy and who had previously passed himself off as a teenage victim of sex trafficking pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated identity theft.
Michael Rini, of Medina, was charged after he was found wandering the streets of Newport, Kentucky.
He told officers that he was a 14-year-old boy who’d been abducted as a child and just wanted to go home.
Rini pretended to be Timothy Pitzen, who had gone missing from Illinois back in 2011. Pitzen’s mother picked him up from school and was later found dead by suicide in a motel room leaving behind a note saying he was safe but would never be found.
He refused to provide fingerprints but did agree to DNA testing.
Once test results showed he was not the missing child but in fact had just been released from an Ohio prison a month earlier, Rini admitted that he’d seen the story about the missing boy on television and made the whole thing up.
Rini could face up to two years in prison for the crime.