Man who allegedly impersonated a missing boy facing federal charges

A brother of Brian Rini, 23, a convicted criminal who claimed to be 14-year-old Timmothy Pitzen, said that Rini had battled mental illness for years.
1:47 | 04/06/19

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Transcript for Man who allegedly impersonated a missing boy facing federal charges
We are also learning more about the young man who gave that family hope to deliver heart break again. Timmothy Pitzen disappeared nearly eight years ago. And the new charges and whit Johnson from Kentucky. Reporter: Tonight, federal charges for the man accused of impersonating a missing boy, and giving false hope to a heartbroken family. Authorities today describing how 23-year-old Brian Rini allegedly lied to federal agents claiming he was 14-year-old timmothy Pitzen. At what point in the process did your officers become suspicious of his story? I think there were suspicions relatively quickly if for not other reason than he declined to be fingerprinted. Reporter: But Rini agreed to a DNA test, which ultimately revealed his true identity. A convicted criminal just released from prison. The Pitzen family crushed. It's like reliving that day all over again. Reporter: Rini told officers he got the idea after watching this cable show produced by ABC news. Rini told the agents that he wanted to get away from his family and that he wished he had a father like timmothy Pitzen's father. Reporter: His brother says that Rini has battled mental illness for years. I hope he goes to prison for this, but -- or at least an institution. Whit squlonson with us from ki qui. We know the man could face a federal judge. He can face prison time? Reporter: That's right. He could face up to eight years in prison. And authorities say he has done something like this twice before, pretending to a victim of sex trafficking. David? Whit, thank you. Now to the price for 2020. Vice president Joe Biden has not

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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