A 6-year-old boy who went missing in 2011 has allegedly been found in Ohio after escaping his kidnappers.
The boy, Timmothy Pitzen, disappeared in 2011 when his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, took him out of school for a three-day vacation. They drove to Wisconsin where they visited the zoo and a water park, which was the last place Timmothy was seen.
His mother was sadly found dead a few days later at a hotel in Rockford, Illinois, seemingly by suicide. She had reportedly checked in alone.
A note was found next to her body saying Timmothy was safe and was with people who would care for him, though it also added ‘you’ll never find him’.
— Live PD on A&E (@OfficialLivePD) August 26, 2018
Now, a 14-year-old boy has contacted police claiming to be the missing Timmothy. He called 911 in north Kentucky on the morning of Wednesday, April 3, and said he had just escaped his captors, who had been holding him for eight years.
The teenager was found walking alone in Newport, Kentucky, around 500 miles from where he first went missing, as Sky News reports.
Illinois police went to meet the boy, though were cautious, saying:
We’ve probably had thousands of tips of him popping up in different areas. We have no idea what we’re driving down there for. It could be Pitzen. It could be a hoax.
The 14-year-old told officers he had been kept at a Red Roof Inn – a chain of hotels in America – by two ‘white men covered in tattoos on their necks and arms who look like bodybuilders’, as per TMZ. There are a number of Red Roof Inns in the area however, so it is currently unclear which one he was referring to.
The boy added the two men drove a Ford SUV with Wisconsin number plates. He told officers he fled his captors and ran across a bridge in Cincinnati over the Ohio River, into Kentucky.
The police released an ‘age-progressed’ photo of how Timmothy might look now:
The 14-year-old has now been taken to hospital to have DNA tests carried out in order to confirm his identity.
Speaking to local news channel WISN-TV, Timmothy’s grandmother said:
We just know a 14-year-old boy was found and went to the police. We don’t want to get our hopes up and our family’s hopes up until we know something. We just don’t want to get our hopes up. We’ve had false reports and false hopes before.
Timmothy’s disappearance was heavily reported at the time, and was featured on the popular American show Live PD, following police on nighttime patrols.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.