Amy Fry-Pitzen was Timmothy Pitzen’s mother. She was also the last person seen with the six-year-old boy when he disappeared in 2011, vanishing without a trace for seven years. On April 3, a boy appeared in Ohio, claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen and saying he was held hostage for seven years by two individuals.
However, on April 4, the FBI announced that his DNA did not match, and that he was not Timmothy Pitzen.
The statement from FBI Louisville reads,
@FBICincinnati, @AuroraPoliceIL, Newport PD, @CincyPD, and HCSO have been conducting a missing person investigation. DNA results have been returned indicating the person in question is not Timmothy Pitzen.
But Amy Fry-Pitzen’s involvement in the boy’s disappearance has always been a source of major speculation, as she killed herself the day after he was last seen in public and left a suicide note saying he was safe but would never be found.
Timmothy Pitzen’s father now lives in Iowa, and has given multiple interviews over the years, relaying his hopes that his boy would return one day.
Here’s what you need to know about Timmothy Pitzen’s mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen:
1. Amy Fry-Pitzen Was the Last One With Timmothy Before He Went Missing
According to CNN, Amy and Jim met at a party and dated long distance before marrying. She’d been married once before, per the network, and Jim said he thought her depression would improve once she was in a healthy relationship. But in 2003, she had an incident. To CNN, Jim said, “She had taken some pills, I guess, and [had been] sitting on the edge of the cliff, and supposedly passed out and fell off the cliff.”
Amy became pregnant the next year, and Timmothy was born soon after. The two were married shortly before his birth.
Per BuzzFeed News, Fry-Pitzen checked Timmothy out of his school in Aurora, Illinois on May 11, 2011, and drove 600 miles over the next two days, ping-ponging through multiple states with him without telling her husband. Jim eventually reported both of them missing.
Pitzen was six years old at the time.
2. Amy Fry-Pitzen Committed Suicide on May 14, 2011, One Day After Timmothy Was Seen for the Last Time
Three days after she checked her son out of school, Fry-Pitzen killed herself in a motel in Rockford, Illinois, leaving a suicide note that said, in part, that her son was safe but he would never be found. To NBC News on Wednesday, April 3, following the announcement that a boy claimed to be Timmothy, Timmothy’s grandmother Alana Anderson, shed further light on the suicide note.
She said, “His mother left me a letter and she said that he would be with people who would love him and take care of him. She felt that her life had come to an end and she was going to end her life and she didn’t want to leave him without good parenting.”
The last time Timmothy was seen on camera was May 13, 2011, a day before his mother killed herself. They were both seen at nearby Wisconsin waterpark.
According to a CBS Chicago article from 2011, Fry-Pitzen killed herself by slitting her wrists; per the publication, she was not seen with her son at the time she checked into the motel, nor was she seen with her son when she went to a local food mart that same night as the check-in.
3. Family Members Have Said Amy Fry-Pitzen Had a History of Depression
Fry-Pitzen had a history of mental illness, according to her family members. However, these same family members have maintained that she never would have hurt her son. Per CNN, Anderson, who was Amy’s mother said, “She just adored that little boy, and he just adored her.” Anderson further reveals that Amy was the one who chose to add an extra “M” to his name, hoping it would make him special.
Additionally, Timmothy’s aunt, Kara Jacobs, said to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2018, “She just wouldn’t have. She had nothing but kindness and consideration for other people in her life.”
Aurora Police Detective Lee Catavu also said to People,
“Every person I’ve talked to has said Amy would never hurt Timmothy. Therein lies the mystery. No one in her life has been aware of her falling off the grid before, or having unaccounted-for blocks of time when she might have been able to accomplish this.”
According to CNN, Amy’s biggest fear was that a judge might take Timmothy away from her because of her mental health issues.
4. Jim Pitzen Moved to Iowa After His Wife Died & His Son Disappeared
Following Pitzen’s disappearance, Jim moved out of his family home in Aurora to the town of Clinton, Iowa. Over the years, he and other family members were outspoken in their hope that Timmothy would one day come home.
Though Amy’s family members maintained that she didn’t hurt her son, they’ve also acknowledged that it’s been difficult to forgive her for whatever role she might have had in his disappearance. To People, Anderson said, “You don’t leave your children. You don’t give your children away. I had some trouble forgiving her for what she did to herself. I don’t think I can ever forgive her for what she did to her child.”
In that same 2015 interview with People , Jim Pitzen said,
“I always wonder what she told Timmothy, Why hasn’t he tried to call? We taught him how to dial 911. ‘This is your number, this is your mom’s number, you know where you live, your address,’ all the stuff you do. We got one of those little IDenticards for kids, with his fingerprint and his name and a picture of him, so if he got lost somewhere you could find him.”
The magazine reports that Pitzen’s IDenticard was found in the motel room where Fry-Pitzen killed herself. To the publication, Jim confirmed that Fry-Pitzen had taken medications for depression in the past, but he couldn’t understand what might have motivated her to take his son.
He said, “Depression is a sickness. It’s something that has to be treated. It can’t be ignored.”
He added, “I forgive, but it’s going to take a lot to get over this. It’s taken a lot of therapy, and a lot of searching and going through it day after day after day, to learn that it wasn’t my fault; she had planned this for a while. ‘Cause you just don’t do something like this without having some plan that goes along with it.”
5. The Boy Who Claimed to Be Timmothy Pitzen Said He Was Held Hostage by Two People for Seven Years
The 14-year-old boy who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen was found in Newport, Kentucky, after he told a woman he had been held hostage by two individuals for seven years. In the wake of the FBI confirmation that the boy is not Timmothy Pitzen, there was not an explanation for who he actually was.
Per NBC News, the boy told investigators that he had escaped his two kidnappers where they were staying in a Red Roof Inn in Sharonville Ohio. When he escaped, he ran across a bridge to Kentucky, per the network.
After news broke of the potential return of Timmothy, Anderson, his grandmother, reiterated the hope she and Timmothy’s father and many others have held onto for all these years. To CBS Chicago, she gave her one message to her grandson: “That we never stopped looking for him. We are thinking about him, and we love him, and we will do everything to get him back to a good life.”