One year later, Aurora boy's whereabouts still unknown

  • Timmothy Pitzen

    Timmothy Pitzen

  • Amy Fry-Pitzen

    Amy Fry-Pitzen

Posted5/11/2012 4:37 PM

One year after a 6-year-old Aurora boy and his mother disappeared together, police say they have no leads in the search for the boy.

On Friday, police released the final video surveillance clips they have of Timmothy Pitzen and Amy Fry-Pitzen and asked land owners in northwest Illinois to search for missing items they believe may help determine what happened to the boy.


His mother was found dead in a Rockford motel room on May 15, 2011, with a box cutter under her body. A Winnebago County coroner's jury determined she committed suicide.

She left a note that read "Tim is somewhere safe with people who love him and will take care of him. You will never find him."

The clips released Friday show Fry-Pitzen, 43, and Timmothy checking out of KeyLime Cove Resort in Gurnee and at Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The items police are encouraging land owners and outdoor enthusiasts in Lee, Whiteside, Carroll, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago counties to look for include Amy's cellphone and I-PASS, Timmothy's Spider-Man backpack, other toys and a tube of kids Crest toothpaste.

Those six counties were identified by forensic tests conducted last summer by Microtrace LLC of Elgin as the likely home of a grassy meadow where Fry-Pitzen stopped her SUV for some time. The lab studied dust and plant material found on the bottom of Fry-Pitzen's 2004 Ford Expedition, which authorities said was "visibly dirty."

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Forensic test results indicate the vehicle stopped on a gravel area just off an asphalt road and backed into a grassy meadow or field with few trees. A pond or small stream likely is nearby, results show.

Results suggest the area was not a park or a lawn because the grass was not cut, and not a farm because no corn was growing in the area.

Microtrace has performed more tests since results were released in November, but those tests didn't provide enough information for investigators to narrow the six-county area or plan ground searches, authorities said.

"At this point, what we really need are more target areas," said Christopher Palenik, vice president of Microtrace and a research microscopist.

The renewed call for help finding Timmothy's missing items, which also include a blue Hot Wheels starter set and an aquatic rig toy truck, comes because police still have no leads about whether Timmothy has met with foul play or is alive somewhere. If the toys are found, the lab could run more forensic tests to possibly develop new leads, Palenik said.

Timmothy originally was reported missing May 12, 2011, by his father, and last was heard from May 13 of that year speaking on his mother's cellphone from about five miles west of Sterling.


Fry-Pitzen checked her son out of his Aurora school on May 11, 2011, a Wednesday morning, and visited Brookfield Zoo as well as resorts in Gurnee and Wisconsin Dells with him before checking into a Rockford motel alone Friday night, May 14, 2011, authorities said.

Fry-Pitzen was found dead the next day.

Police conducted a ground search on May 19, 2011, along the I-88 and I-39 corridors near Sterling and Rock Falls but found no helpful evidence. An investigation of files on three of Fry-Pitzen's computers and an air search conducted May 20, 2011, between Rockford and the Dixon, Rock Falls and Sterling area also were among efforts Aurora police said failed to "cultivate any solid leads in Timmothy's disappearance."

As the investigation wore on, police determined there was a "rather large amount" of Timmothy's blood in the back seat of his mother's SUV, but were unsure how long the blood had been there.

Aurora police continue to investigate occasional calls from people across the nation who believe they have spotted Timmothy, and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children still is a partner in the investigation. Anyone who may have information about Timmothy is asked to call Aurora police at (630) 256-5500 or Aurora Area Crime Stoppers at (630) 892-1000.

Timmothy would be 7 years old now. When he went missing, he was 4 feet 2 inches tall and 70 pounds with brown hair and eyes.

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