Timmothy Pitzen was 6 years old in 2011 when he disappeared after authorities said his mother committed suicide. The photo on the right is age progressed to show what Pitzen could look like at age 13. | National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

EDITORIAL: A little boy lost, and a family’s heartache

The saddest news in recent days may have been of a little boy who was not found. We can only imagine the sorrow that has welled up in his family once again.

We don’t know why a young man in Cincinnati on Wednesday claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, a boy from Aurora who disappeared seven years ago. DNA testing proved that the man — Brian Rini of Medina, Ohio — was not Pitzen.

Rini is 23, much older than Pitzen, 14. He has since been charged with lying to federal authorities.

We can only hope Rini was honestly confused or mentally disturbed, because we would hate to believe someone would be so cruel.

Timmothy was just six years old when his mother pulled him out of kindergarten early one day, claiming a non-existent family emergency, and took him on a two-day road trip that included a visit to Brookfield Zoo and a Wisconsin water park.

Then she killed herself in a hotel, leaving behind a note that said Timmothy was safe with other people. But, she wrote, “you will never find him.”

Timmothy’s family has never given up hope that the boy might be found. So to have their hopes so suddenly encouraged and dashed, an aunt told reporters, has been “devastating.”

“It’s like reliving that day all over again,” she said.

May Timmothy’s family find peace.

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