A 14 year-old boy, who told police in Kentucky he had escaped from kidnappers, is claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen, who went missing eight years ago in Illinois.
The then six-year-old Timmothy Pitzen vanished in 2011 at the same as his mother’s suicide in a motel in Rockford.
The teenager claiming to be Timmothy said that after escaping his kidnappers “he kept running across a bridge” into Kentucky.
He was found walking alone in Newport, Kentucky in the early hours of Wednesday morning – around 500 miles (800km) from where Timmothy went missing.
Police from Illinois are now on their way to Cincinnati in Ohio, close to where the boy was found, to meet him but are remaining 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 boy told officers that he was being kept at a “Red Roof Inn” by two men, although as there are a number of motels with that name in area, it’s unclear which one he is referring to.
Police forces in the area are currently investigating any “red roof inns” near to them.
He claims the two men drove a Ford SUV with Wisconsin number plates.
He has now been taken to hospital and will have DNA tests to confirm his identity.
Timmothy Pitzen was dropped off at school in Aurora, Illinois on 11 May 2011 by his father, but was picked up just hours later by his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, who took him on a trip.
They drove to Wisconsin and visited the zoo and a water park together – the last place that Timmothy was seen alive.
Two days later, his mother was found dead in a motel room in Rockford, Illinois.
Reports at the time said that she had checked in alone, and had written a cryptic note that said her son was safe, but adding, “you’ll never find him”.
Pitzen was never seen again.
In a statement, the FBI said that it’s local officers were working on a missing child investigation with Aurora police and police departments in Cincinnati and Newport, Kentucky, and the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office in Ohio, but offered no firm details around the case.
Speaking to local TV channel WISN-TV in Wisconsin, Pitzen’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.”
Source: SKY NEWS