Three years pass without any sign of Illinois boy
Three years ago, on May 11, 2011, 6-year-old Timmothy Pitzen was picked up from Greenman Elementary School in Aurora, Illinois. Investigators with the Aurora Police Department say his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, told school officials that there had been a family emergency and she had to take Timmothy. But there was no emergency.
Two days later, Timmothy’s mother was found dead in a Rockford hotel, and Timmothy was gone. Detectives say a haunting note was left behind saying Timmothy was safe, with someone who loved him and that he would never be found.
"The image created by NCMEC forensic artists is an important tool in our mission to help bring Timmothy home,” said Detective Lee Catavu of the Aurora Police Department. As the lead investigator in Timmothy’s case, Detective Catavu says the case of the Cleveland women who escaped one year ago, after a decade of captivity, restored his faith that if Timmothy is out there, he will be found.
“Those three women give us all a lot of hope, and we so badly want to find Timmothy,” Detective Catavu said.
Maintaining hope Timmothy will be found
The lead detective on the case, Lee Catavu, said Aurora Police remain steadfast that Timmothy is alive.
“There is not a single person in her life that believes Amy Fry-Pitzen hurt her son,” Catavu said. And, until he has evidence proving otherwise, he will continue to work the case as if Timmothy is somewhere out there, waiting to come home.
Leads and possible sightings continue to trickle in from callers across the country, but police need more. On this three-year anniversary of Timmothy’s disappearance, investigators are hoping the public will take a closer look at his story and perhaps provide key information needed to help bring Timmothy home.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children created the video below about Timmothy’s disappearance as part of a new project called “The Inside Story.” This new video series gives families a special chance to share their unique perspective about their missing loved ones. In her first on-camera interview about the case, Amy’s sister, Kara Jacobs, tells NCMEC she is certain that Timmothy is alive.
Seeking public assistance
Investigators are asking landowners and residents in northwestern Illinois to search their properties for several missing items that may help pinpoint what happened to Timmothy. Since there are several state parks and other popular areas for outdoor activity in the area, police are asking hikers, bikers, boaters and other visitors to be on the lookout for clues.
Police have shared the following missing items that may help find Timmothy:
- Timmothy’s Spider-Man backpack
- Amy’s I-Pass device
- Several toys and a tube of toothpaste that Amy bought for Timmothy before he disappeared
Police release information about Amy’s vehicle
Aurora Police contracted a private forensics lab based in Elgin, Illinois, to process the dust, vegetation and other materials found on Amy Fry-Pitzen’s vehicle. According to the forensic findings of Microtrace LLC, detectives believe:
- Based on sediments and plant material, the vehicle was stopped for an unknown period of time on a wide gravel shoulder, gravel road, or short gravel turnout either adjacent to, or just off of, an asphalt secondary road that had at one time, been treated with glass road-marking beads.
- In close proximity to the gravel shoulder or road where the vehicle stopped, it backed into a grassy meadow or field to a spot that is nearly treeless.
- There are birch and oak trees in the general area but not directly over or at the spot where the SUV stopped. Both Queen Anne’s Lace and black mustard plants grow in a row along the border of the field or the shoulder of the road.
- In addition, there is no corn growing in or adjacent to the spot where the SUV stopped, nor is there any indication that the area had been used for agriculture in the recent past. Instead, the evidence strongly suggests that grasses have been the only major plants growing in the immediate area which leads scientists to believe that it is a meadow and not, for example, a field that had once been farmland and not recently sown.
- Forensic results indicate that the grass was not cut which helps rule out a rural residential lawn or a park.
- There is also a strong likelihood that there is a pond, small stream, or creek in the area.
- Scientists further believe that the meadow is most likely in Northwestern Illinois with Lee and Whiteside Counties as the most likely locations.
- However, areas in Carroll, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties cannot be ruled out.
- Microtrace has since performed other tests but has not been able to further narrow down the six-county area – an area much too large for police to conduct ground searches.
Police say the last time anyone heard from Timmothy was May 13, 2011, when he talked to a relative on his mother’s cellphone as the pair was traveling about 5 miles west of Sterling, Illinois.
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