Lost, Bruised Teen Tells Police He’s Timmothy Pitzen, Boy Who Went Missing In 2011

Authorities are waiting for DNA test results; Pitzen's family is “cautiously optimistic.”

April 04, 2019
Timmothy Pitzen; age-progressed image [NCMEC]

Timmothy PitzenCredit: National Center for Missing or Exploited Children

Photo by: Timmothy Pitzen; age-progressed image [NCMEC]

Timmothy Pitzen; age-progressed image [NCMEC]

By: Mike McPadden

SHARONVILLE, OH — A 14-year-old boy told police in Sharonville, Ohio, yesterday that he is Timmothy Pitzen, a child who vanished at age six after his mother pulled him out of school in 2011.

The teen was seen wandering the streets of Kentucky on Wednesday when he asked for help. He reportedly told authorities that he had just run across a bridge into Ohio, after escaping two men who had been holding him captive for seven years.

Authorities are presently waiting for DNA results to determine if this boy is, in fact, Timmothy Pitzen. Those results are expected today.

Timmothy Pitzen vanished on May 11, 2011, after his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, 42, removed him from school in Aurora, Illinois. According to reports, Amy had suffered from mental illness.

Amy took Timmothy to a zoo and a water park in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, but never told anyone she had any plans for a such a road trip. She remained off the grid for three days as James Pitzen, Timmothy’s father, tried to locate her and his son.

On May 15, Amy telephoned her brother and the police to say everything was fine. Later that day, Amy was discovered dead in a Rockford, Illinois, hotel room. She had committed suicide by slashing her wrists and neck.

Authorities say Amy left a chilling suicide note in which she stated that Timmothy was “safe” with people who would take care of him, and ended it by writing, “You will never find him.”

After nearly eight years of searching, yesterday’s events add a new chapter to this story.

On Wednesday, several residents of Newport, Kentucky, noticed a distressed-looking teenage boy wandering their streets. He reportedly approached a female driver and said he was Timmothy Pitzen.

Talking to the press, the driver, who asked not to be identified, said, “He walked up to my car, and he went, ‘Can you help me? I just want to get home. Can you just please help me?' I asked him what was going on, and he told me he’s been kidnapped and he’s been traded through all these people. He just wanted to go home. He needed help.”

The witness added that the child “looked like he’d been beat up or something. He had a really big bruise on his face.”

After arriving at the Sharonville police station, the boy said he had just escaped from two kidnappers in a Red Roof Inn who had been holding him for seven years.

According to the police report: “Timmothy described the two kidnappers as two male, whites, body-builder type build. One had black curly hair, Mt. Dew shirt and jeans, and has a spider web tattoo on his neck. The other was short in stature and had a snake tattoo on his arms.”

The youth also described the car the men had been driving and said it had Wisconsin license plates. Police said they searched a local Red Roof Inn and several surrounding hotels, but did not turn up anything of interest.

The FBI has since confirmed that it has joined the investigation with Sharonville police and authorities in Aurora, Illinois.

Alana Anderson, Timmothy’s grandmother, said the family “never stopped looking for him and that they are “cautiously optimistic.”

Talking to the Chicago Tribune, Aurora Police Sergeant Bill Rowley further stressed the importance of remaining cautious, saying, “We have no idea if this is Timmothy Pitzen. We don’t know if it’s a hoax. Obviously, everyone’s hopeful, but we have to be super judicious…. This could be the story of a decade, but if it’s not, it’ll be a horrible letdown.”

Next Up

Mother Of 2, Rajah Adriana McQueen Vanished From Ohio In 2021, FBI Offering $25K Reward

The FBI is offering a $25,000 reward for information that could lead to the recovery of Rajah Adriana McQueen. She was last seen in Cleveland, OH in the summer of 2021.

Do You Know What Happened To Aaron 'Cody' Stepp?

Aaron Stepp was just 3-years-old when he went missing from his grandmother's Columbus, Ohio backyard in March 1997.

Colorado Police Searching For Woman Who Went Missing After Her First Night In Denver

After 32-year-old Indigenous woman Christine Tail moved to Denver with her girlfriend, she mysteriously went missing on June 14, 2023, within her first day in the city.

Mystery Surrounds Case Of California Woman Who Went Missing At A Yoga Retreat In Guatemala

Nancy Ng's family is desperately trying to find answers after the 29-year-old disappeared during a swim while kayaking on Lake Atitlán in Guatemala.

Where’s Chelsea Grimm? California Woman Vanishes While On Road Trip To Attend Wedding

“We are trying our best to hold onto positive outcome scenarios and put our faith in the authorities,” Stephen Grimm says about his missing daughter.

Have You Seen Semaj Goodwine? Georgia Teen Vanished In South Carolina

On March 7, 2021, 16-year-old Semaj Goodwine disappeared from his aunt’s house in the dead of night.

Have You Seen Missing Teenagers Asia Wilbon Or Mackenzie Marken?

Both girls vanished during the night from their families’ homes.

Skeletal Remains Found In 1991 Finally Identified As Young Ohio Man

After 31 years, skeletal remains found in a shallow grave in Pickaway County, Ohio have been identified as Robert A. Mullins who was 21 at the time of his disappearance.

What Happened To High School Senior Erica Fraysure?

A Kentucky teen mysteriously disappeared after a night out in 1997.

What Happened To Missing Teen Brookelyn Farthing After She Texted 'I'm Scared'?

In 2013, a Kentucky teenager texted “I'm scared” before leaving only her shoes, a bag, and a flaming couch behind.