An Ohio man, accused of falsely presenting himself as long-missing child Timmothy Pitzen, is being held without bond after a Tuesday court appearance.
Brian Rini, 23, could face up to eight years in prison. He's accused of lying to federal agents and attempting to convince them he was the missing Illinois boy. He is set to appear in court again next Tuesday, when a grand jury will hear evidence against him and determine if there is enough probable cause to continue with a trial, according to Sarah Hager of Fox 19.
A judge deemed him a flight risk, as he has multiple active warrants against him, has skipped past court appearances, lacks an identifiable address and is believed to suffer from significant mental health issues, WCPO reported.
Rini appeared, battered, in Newport, Kentucky last week and told police he had been held captive for years at the hands of two men. He was taken to the Cincinnati Children's Hospital to assess his injuries, and to conduct tests to ensure that he was Pitzen, who would be about 14 years old today.
Rini first refused to allow officers to take his fingerprints, but later agreed to let them sample his DNA. According to reports, he maintained that he was Pitzen until he was shown the results of the DNA test, which identified him as the 23-year-old instead, and revealed that he was recently released from prison and had posed as a juvenile sex trafficking victim twice before.
Rini is said to have admitted he got the idea for a hoax after seeing a story about Pitzen on the ABC show "20/20."
The episode reopened old wounds for the Pitzen family, who have since spoken out about their heartbreak stemming from Timmothy's 2011 disappearance. The boy's aunt, Kara Jacobs, said that the emotional turmoil of learning the man was not Timmothy was "like reliving that day all over again."
Timmothy Pitzen disappeared at the age of 6 after his mother, 43-year-old Amy Fry-Pitzen, committed suicide in May 2011. The boy was last seen with his mother at a waterpark in the Wisconsin Dells, and his mother's body was later discovered in a hotel room in Illinois.
Fry-Pitzen wrote in a note that she left Timmothy with people who would care for him, but that he would never be found.
Fox News' Ryan Gaydos contributed reporting.