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False hope plagues families of Crystal Rogers, Timmothy Pitzen

Updated: Aug. 6, 2020 at 1:40 PM EDT
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BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - When loved ones are reported missing, family and friends wait to hear their loved one is found safe. But sometimes that phone call turns into a false alarm.

This week the family of Timmothy Pitzen, a child who disappeared in 2011, were hopeful the boy was found safe.

A person found wandering in a Kentucky neighborhood claimed to be Timmothy, but authorities said Thursday it was not.

DNA results proved the man who said he was the missing child is actually Brian Michael Rini, 23, of Medina, Ohio.

The person claiming to be Pitzen is actually 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini, according to...
The person claiming to be Pitzen is actually 23-year-old Brian Michael Rini, according to Newport Police.(Source: Belmont Correctional Institution)

Authorities said they are still investigating what happened to Timmothy.

In an NBC News interview, Timmothy Pitzen’s uncle Charles Pitzen said the developments this week were just about as bad as the day the family found out Timmothy was missing.

“We think we found Tim. Oops, sorry. Well we think we got another lead. And then it just fizzles away,” Charles Pitzen said.

A similar hope was sparked in WAVE Country on Thursday when Bardstown Police said skeletal remains were found in Bardstown.

It had the family of Crystal Rogers, a mother of five who disappeared in 2015, wondering if the remains were Crystal.

Bardstown Police later revealed the remains were of a male.

Sherry Ballard felt a sense of hope when she was notified of the discovery of remains in...
Sherry Ballard felt a sense of hope when she was notified of the discovery of remains in Bardstown, thinking they could be the remains of her daughter, Crystal Rogers.(Source: WAVE 3 News)

Sherry Ballard, Crystal Rogers’ mother, said law enforcement called her about the remains, warning her they did not believe it was Crystal.

“When I got that phone call about the skull I’m like ‘God maybe this is it,’” Ballard said. “And deep down you’re praying that it is but there’s a piece of you that’s praying it isn’t. So it’s that medium to get between the two because you want answers so bad but that isn’t the answers you want so how do you react to that?”

Rogers disappeared in July 2015. Her car was found on the side of the Bluegrass Parkway with a flat tire and her keys, purse and cell phone inside. After nearly four years and hundreds of tips to law enforcement, there is still no sign of Rogers.

“We never give up hope that we might bring her home,” Ballard said. “We know it’s a slim chance but we don't ever assume she's never coming home."

Ballard said she’s at a point now where she wants to know the truth of where her daughter is and what happened in July 2015.

“I think what scares me the most is when I do get those answers and how it’s going to affect me and when you know it and you just hear it, it just brings it all to light. And it’s different,” Ballard said.

Ballard believes investigators are getting close to finding her daughter.

Anyone with information about the disappearance of Crystal Rogers is asked to call the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office at (502) 348-3211.

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