Update April 4, 4:55 p.m. The FBI has released a statement saying that DNA test results prove that the teenage boy is not Timmothy Pitzen.
A teenage boy found wandering the streets of Newport, Kentucky, has identified himself as Timmothy Pitzen, a six-year-old boy who was reported missing after his mother took him on a road trip nearly eight years ago.
The confused and disoriented teenager was in Newport, a city on the border of Ohio and Kentucky, when he was approached by a concerned resident. After the boy said that he had been running for the past two hours and that his stomach hurt, the resident called the police.
“He walked up to my car and he went, ‘Can you help me? I just want to get home. Please help me,'” the 911 caller told local news affiliate WCPO Cincinnati. “I asked him what’s going on, and he tells me he’s been kidnapped and he’s been traded through all these people and he just wanted to go home.”
In a conversation with authorities, the teenager identified himself as Pitzen and claimed that he had been spending the past several years in various hotel rooms with two men of “bodybuilder type build,” one of whom had a snake tattoo on his arms, the other of whom had a spiderweb tattoo on his neck. He said he had most recently stayed at a Red Roof Inn, though he was unable to identify which one.
Pitzen was last seen at a water park in Wisconsin 2011, a few days after his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, took him out of school and took him on a road trip, telling teachers there was a family emergency. Fry-Pitzen struggled with mental health issues and marital problems, and was reportedly concerned that legal authorities would take away her child. (According to the Polly Klaas Foundation, approximately nine percent of missing children cases involve a child being kidnapped by a parent during a custody dispute.)
A few days after the two were last seen together, Fry-Pitzen’s body was found in a motel room in Illinois. She had taken her own life and left a note stating that while Timmothy was safe, authorities would “never find him.” Timmothy was nowhere to be found.