BRUNSWICK HILLS TOWNSHIP, Ohio — The father of 23-year-old Brian Rini, charged with lying to federal agents and accused of impersonating a missing child, spoke exclusively with FOX 8 about his son’s “disturbing” behavior.
“I’m deeply hurt by what he has done. It’s gonna take a while to recover from this,” said Rini’s father who asked no to be identified.
According to federal authorities Rini got the idea to impersonate missing child Timmothy Pitzen while watching a 20/20 episode about the 2011 investigation in his disappearance.
Rini’s father said his son has a history of mental challenges including a diagnosis of bipolar disorder, Asperger syndrome and ADHD.
“I want to apologize to the family for what Brian has done,” said Rini’s father.
His father said when he first heard about a Medina man connected to the sudden resurfacing of Pitzen, now known to be false, he got a bad feeling his own son was involved.
“I had to pull the car over. I was in the car when I heard it,” he explained. “I was sitting at a traffic light when the story popped up and I happened to open it up and I was like ‘Oh no you’ve got to be kidding me.’ Even before I opened the story, said 23-year-old Medina man and I knew.”
He describes Rini as manipulative, as well as having a history of making up elaborate lies and identifying as people other than himself.
The Brunswick Hills Police Chief Tom Sopkovich said the department charged Rini after he identified as someone else and threw a destructive party in 2017.
“He did a property, heinous crime. Broke into a house, falsified that he was with a realtor, that he was going to purchase the home and had a heck of a party there,” said Chief Sopkovich. “He invited everyone on Facebook had all his friends come in and he trashed the house and he left.”
Rini’s father said he has not spoken to his son in about two and a half years. Rini said his son reached out via social media recently but he blocked the conversation citing there is “no helping” his son who was released from prison in March for the incident in Brunswick Hills.
“Even though Brian has mental illness he needs to be severely punished for what he has done. There is no excuse for this,” said Rini.
Rini could face up to eight years in prison if convicted.