LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - There are currently 38 open cases of missing children in Kentucky. Many of them cross state lines, making national agencies crucial in tying together scattered evidence and tips from the public.
In Louisville, it’s been almost 36 years since Ann Gotlib disappeared. The Center for Missing and Exploited Children has created age-progressed pictures of her at 42 years old, all in hopes of finding her.
“When a child is missing for a number of years, the likelihood of bringing them back is not great, but it does happen,” said Callahan Walsh, a spokesperson for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
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Walsh said the National Center helped Timmothy Pitzen’s family create widespread awareness of the case. They were hopeful Pitzen had reappeared in Newport, Ky., this week, but the FBI determined Thursday that it was not him.
“We have had plenty of long-term recoveries to make sure we never give up hope on these missing children’s cases,” Walsh said.
DNA testing proved the person claiming to be Pitzen was not the same boy who disappeared from Illinois in 2011.
“If he is not Timmothy Pitzen, then who is this boy?” Walshed asked.
It’s a question law enforcement is trying to answer. The Louisville FBI office is assisting in the Pitzen investigation, but will not comment on an open investigation.
Walsh hopes Thursday’s strange turn doesn’t take away from the seriousness of missing children, or the issues the person found in Newport may be facing.
“There are so many questions that need to be answered,” Walsh said. “So many layers to this case, and they are peeling back one by one.”
The National Center has recovered 290,000 missing children since its inception in 1984. Walsch said it will continue to fight for Pitzen.