Tag Archives: Missing

AJ Freund: Parents of a missing 5-year-old boy charged with his murder

AJ Freund: Parents of a missing 5-year-old boy charged with his murderParents of a missing five-year-old boy have been charged with his murder.Andrew Freund reported his son AJ missing on Thursday morning from their home in Crystal Lake, Illinois, prompting a near week-long investigation by the police and the FBI.On Wednesday, police announced that Freund and AJ’s mother Joann Cunningham have been charged with AJ's murder.They are both facing five counts of first degree murder, as well as aggravated battery, aggravated domestic battery, concealment of a homicide, and failure to report a missing child.Police said they found what they believe is AJ's body "buried in a shallow grave wrapped in plastic" in Woodstock, Illinois. In a press conference on Wednesday, Crystal Lake police chief Jim Black said the cause of death has not yet been determined. The police confirmed in the same conference that information provided by Freund and Cunningham “ultimately led to the recovery of the deceased subject.’CNN reports that officials had previously visited the home of Freund and Cunningham and found it to be in ‘unliveable’ conditions. One report from 2018 reveals that officers ‘recalled going upstairs to where Cunningham’s two boys slept only to smell a strong smell of faeces with the windows open.’Freund and Cunningam are currently being held in McHenry County Jail. If convicted, both could face life in prison. It was previously reported that AJ’s younger sibling is currently living with another family.



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Body of missing Illinois boy found in shallow grave, parents arrested

Body of missing Illinois boy found in shallow grave, parents arrestedThe remains of Andrew “AJ” Freund, wrapped in plastic, were found in a community near his home town of Crystal Lake, based on information provided to investigators by his mother and father, Crystal Lake Deputy Police Chief Tom Kotlowski said in a statement. “To AJ’s family, it is our hope that you may have some solace in knowing that AJ is no longer suffering and his killers have been brought to justice,” Kotlowski said in the statement. “To AJ, we know you are at peace playing in heaven’s playground and are happy you no longer have to suffer,” he said.



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Pilot missing after F-35 fighter jet crashes in Japan

Pilot missing after F-35 fighter jet crashes in JapanWreckage from a Japanese F-35A stealth fighter jet has been found a day after it disappeared off the radar over the Pacific, the country's defence minister said Wednesday. There was no word yet on the fate of the one pilot on board the jet, Defence Minister Takeshi Iwaya said. It was the first reported case of a crash by an F-35A, according to Japan's Air Self-Defence Force. "We have collected part of its tail" in search operations at sea with planes and vessels, Iwaya told reporters. "We believe it crashed," he added. The fighter jet went missing around 7.30 pm (10.30 GMT) Tuesday as it was flying some 135 kilometres (85 miles) east of Misawa, northeastern Japan, on a training mission. Parts of the jet were recovered, the defense ministry said Wednesday The plane lost contact about 30 minutes after taking off from Misawa Air Base with three other aircraft. "During the exercise, the aircraft… communicated that it was aborting the exercise, then communications from the plane stopped and its radar track disappeared," Iwaya said. Japan's air force announced a commission late Tuesday to study the cause of the accident. But it was still not clear exactly what happened to the plane by late Wednesday afternoon, a Japanese air force official told AFP. US defence contractor Lockheed Martin touts the high-tech fighter as "virtually undetectable" and says it allows the US and its allies to dominate the skies with its "unmatched capability and unprecedented situational awareness." Japan is deploying F-35As, each of which costs more than 10 billion yen ($ 90 million), to replace its ageing F-4 fighters. The jet was one of 13 F-35As deployed at the base, according to the defence ministry. The remaining 12 F-35A fighters have been grounded for the time being, the ministry said. "Until we find out exactly what happened, it would be difficult for us to have those planes fly again," the air force official told AFP. US military forces said they were helping the search-and-rescue effort. "US Forces Japan will continue to work closely with the Japan Self Defence Forces and Ministry of Defence to assist with search and rescue efforts, as requested," US Forces Japan said in a statement. The F35A jets are a key part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's efforts to upgrade the nation's military capacity to meet changing power dynamics in East Asia, with China rapidly modernising its military. Over the next decade, Japan plans to purchase as many as 105 F-35As and 42 units of other high-capacity jets, most likely the F-35B variant.



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Family of missing boy was elated, then devastated by hoax

Family of missing boy was elated, then devastated by hoaxAURORA, Ill. (AP) — Eight years after an Illinois boy disappeared, his family began to think that their nightmare might be over at last.



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US charges 23-year-old with falsely claiming to be missing boy

US charges 23-year-old with falsely claiming to be missing boyBrian Rini was charged with a single count of lying to federal authorities for allegedly claiming Wednesday that he was Timmothy Pitzen — missing since 2011, when he was six years old. When questioned further, Rini stated that he wished he had a father like Timmothy’s because if he went missing, his father would just keep drinking,” the complaint said. Authorities said they were charging Rini because false reports harm families of missing children and needlessly divert police resources.



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Ex-convict claimed to be missing child Timmothy Pitzen

Ex-convict claimed to be missing child Timmothy PitzenA man who falsely claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen, a boy who mysteriously disappeared in 2011, has been arrested and charged with lying to federal agents.  Brian Rini, 23, told police in Kentucky that he was Timmothy, whose disappearance caused a nationwide search, and claimed he had been held captive for years before managing to escaped on Wednesday. DNA tests later proved he was lying. The FBI said the results identified the man as Rini, a convicted criminal from Ohio, who has falsely portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim twice before.   Confronted with the DNA results, Rini finally confirmed his true identity and said he had come up with the hoax after watching a documentary about the missing child. Timmothy vanished in May 2011 from Aurora, Illinois, after his mother picked him up at school and took him on a three-day road trip, which included going to a zoo and a water park.  Brian Rini, 23, claimed to be Timmothy, who would now be 14 Credit: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office / AP Amy Fry-Pitzen, 43, then took her own life at a hotel, leaving a note saying that her six-year-old son was safe but would never be found. No trace of the boy was ever found.  Timmothy's family had been cautiously hopeful that he had finally been found but compared the hoax to "reliving that day all over again".   “It’s been awful. We’ve been on tenterhooks. We’ve been alternatively hopeful and frightened. It’s just been exhausting,” said Alana Anderson, Timmothy’s grandmother. She added the family "have no idea why" someone had impersonated her grandson.  Rini was found Wednesday in Newport, Kentucky, "wandering the street and looking confused and in need of assistance," according to a court filing by FBI agent Mary Braun. After identifying himself as Timmothy and claimed that he had escaped from a hotel where he had been forced to have sex with men against his will, the document said. However an FBI investigation found that Rini has twice before portrayed himself as a juvenile sex trafficking victim, and in each case was later identified after being fingerprinted. He was released from prison on probation less than a month ago after serving more than a year for burglary and vandalism. He appeared in federal court Friday where he was charged with making false statements to federal agents.  In a statement, the FBI said: "Law enforcement has not and will not forget Timmothy, and we hope to one day reunite him with his family. Unfortunately, that day will not be today".



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Body of Israeli soldier missing since 1982 Lebanon War found by Russian and Syrian armies

Body of Israeli soldier missing since 1982 Lebanon War found by Russian and Syrian armiesThe body of an Israeli soldier missing since the 1982 Lebanon War was found by the Russian and Syrian armies, Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, said yesterday. But Syrian state news agency SANA said Damascus had no details on the discovery of the corpse. Sergeant First Class Zachary Baumel had been listed as missing along with two other Israeli soldiers after a deadly battle with Syrian forces in a Lebanese village, and the return of his remains will bring to a close a highly sensitive case for Israelis. Russia said it handed over the remains to Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, who is visiting Putin five days before he is to seek a fifth term in office in a difficult election. Mr Netanyahu, 69, is running in the April 9 vote despite facing potential corruption charges and experts say he hopes the Moscow visit will increase his chances of success on election day. Benjamin Netanyahu is visiting Putin five days before he is to seek a fifth term in office in a difficult election Credit: MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images "Our military together with Syrian partners found the place of his burial," Mr Putin said of Baumel. "We are very happy that he will be able to receive the right military honours in his homeland." Mr Netanyahu said Mr Baumel would be laid to rest at a ceremony in Israel later Thursday. "Zachary's friends and family will take part," he said, adding that his family had been "very touched". "His father is no longer alive, unfortunately," he added. "His mother is around 100 years old. Zachary also has a sister." Neither Russia nor Israel have given details on how or where the remains were found. Mr Putin said only that Syria – with which Israel has technically been at war – participated in the operation.



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Brian Michael Rini, who claimed to be missing boy Timmothy Pitzen, booked into jail

Brian Michael Rini, who claimed to be missing boy Timmothy Pitzen, booked into jailAn Ohio man who said he was Timmothy Pitzen, an Illinois boy who went missing in 2011 at age 6, spent the night locked up at the Hamilton County jail.



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Teen found in Kentucky is not missing boy Timmothy Pitzen: FBI

Teen found in Kentucky is not missing boy Timmothy Pitzen: FBIDNA testing confirms that the teen found in Kentucky on Wednesday who claimed to be Timmothy Pitzen is not him, according to federal investigators.



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Teen says he is Illinois child missing for eight years

Teen says he is Illinois child missing for eight yearsHopes were raised on Wednesday that an Illinois boy missing since 2011 may have been found in Kentucky, after local police agencies were asked to help track down a teen’s claim that he is Timmothy Pitzen, who was last seen with his mother eight years ago. The police department in Sharonville, Ohio, was one of numerous agencies that received a request from authorities in Kentucky to help search local motels for men who the teen said had been holding him, Sharonville Police Chief Steve Vanover told Reuters. A police report filed by a Sharonville detective summarized a dramatic story of escape from kidnappers, which Vanover said was told to Sharonville police by officials in Campbell County, Kentucky.



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