BRUNSWICK HILLS, Ohio — While the national spotlight continues to shine on the shocking developments in the case of Timmothy Pitzen, a missing Illinois boy, some people here in Northeast Ohio are not surprised Brian Rini is accused of lying to the FBI, claiming to be that child.
News 5 has learned Rini has had his share of run-ins with police in a handful of communities over the years.
The Medina native just finished serving prison time for a case out of Brunswick Hills.
The police chief there, Tim Sopkovich, told News 5 Rini lives in a make-believe world.
Just last month, he was released from prison for hosting a wild party in a former model home he was pretending to buy.
"He told the realtor that he has $800,000 and he wants to purchase this home," said Sopkovich.
Rini told the real estate agent he was a millionaire and wanted to buy the $400,000 Brunswick Hills home, even going as far as signing paperwork.
The next day, he went back and told neighbors he was moving in and would be having a house warming party.
"He got on social media, invited all of his friends over and for the next couple days partied inside the house," said Sopkovich.
Pictures taken by police captured the aftermath from that gathering in 2017, which show pill bottles and trash, including baby diapers.
Sopkovich said he is not shocked to see Rini now facing charges for lying to the FBI.
"Brian Rini, he's notorious for this kind of stuff," said Sopkovich.
Sopkovich said Rini filed two false police reports in Brunswick Hills in 2016.
One after a fight with his girlfriend and the other where he claimed he was sexually assaulted.
"He's full of lies. Everything he did give us we took seriously," said Sopkovich.
Just like the police officers did when he showed up outside Cincinnati claiming to be a missing boy from Illinois.
"This case that he's bringing up I think that's the lowest you could stoop to," said Sopkovich.
While investigators have their own theories on a motive, Sopkovich points to the three abducted Cleveland women rescued after years in captivity and the world-wide attention as one possibility.
"We shouldn't have guys out there making up stories. It's sad he's taken that as a celebrity-type thing that he's going to put himself as like a victim," said Sopkovich.
As for what Sopkovich thinks should happen to Rini: "I don't know if prison is the right answer for him, but he definitely needs some help," said Sopkovich.
Sopkovich is hopeful investigators can spin all this attention Rini brought to the Timmothy Pitzen case to help finally solve it.
"I hope that this brings light and we can find him," said Sopkovich.