‘Hurts a lot:’ Neighbors hold out hope to find Timmothy Pitzen after hoax claim stirs up case

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Timmothy Pitzen

AURORA, Ill. -- A person claiming to be a missing boy who hasn't been seen since 2011, was all a hoax. The community in Timmothy Pitzen's hometown of Aurora, Illinois, had hoped the mystery was finally solved.

A 6-year-old boy left his mark on an Aurora, Illinois neighborhood and never returned.

"I hope he remembers me, that's the biggest thing," said Yamii Grande, neighbor.

The 6-year-old boy left his mark on an Aurora neighborhood and never returned.

Yamii Grande and her family have a picture of Timmothy Pitzen, a neighbor that became part of their family. He's remained among their personal family photos in their home. She's been waiting a long time to give him a hug.

Timmothy Pitzen

Timmothy Pitzen

Yamii Grande

"I would be the happiest girl alive, honestly," said Grande.

The unresolved mystery of his whereabouts never left the Grande family. They held onto his childhood bike. They say it was given to them by Timmothy's father, knowing how close the neighbors were to his son.

"Whenever you would see him, you would never see him without his bike," Grande said.

A moment of hope overcame the community when a person on Wednesday, April 3, came forward claiming to be now 14-year-old Timmothy Pitzen. However by Thursday afternoon, April 5, DNA results revealed it was all a cruel hoax.

"Literally felt like I was going to see him today, you know? I thought he was really going to come home in my arms. For it to be the opposite really hurts a lot," said Grande.

Authorities say the person is actually 23-year-old Brian Rini, who's known for filing false police reports.

Brian Rini

"It's really sickening because he's an adult messing with the community, a family bringing their hopes up for no reason," said Grande.

If Timmothy is still out there, Grande wants him to know:

"We're still here, a couple houses down, waiting for him with our arms wide open," Grande said.

Authorities say this is not a closed case. They will still search for Timmothy Pitzen.

Timmothy Pitzen

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