It’s been three months since 6-year-old Timmothy Pitzen, of Aurora, went missing after his mother checked him out of school early and then took him on a 3-day, 500-mile road trip that included stops at the zoo and water parks
— and then killed herself. Now police have released new details about his disappearance in hopes of finding the boy.
Among the most disturbing new pieces of information released Thursday: police found a “concerning” amount of Timmothy’s blood in the back seat of his mother’s SUV
. Police also said months before his disappearance, Timmothy’s mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, took two unexplained trips to the area where her son was last seen.
Police also released three videos of Timmothy: two home videos and surveillance footage of his mother checking him out of school.
“We have not made forward progress in the investigation,” Aurora police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said Thursday. “Hopefully, the information we put out is going to spark the memory of some person or get someone to come forward. Even the smallest piece of information could be important.”
Aurora police are pinning their hopes on a forensic analysis of Fry-Pitzen’s 2004 Ford Expedition SUV. The vehicle was found on May 14 parked at the Rockford motel where Amy killed herself.
The SUV is still being processed by a private forensics lab with that Aurora police hired in early July. Investigators say that “some progress’’ has been made, but did not provide specifics about what the lab has found. The SUV was covered in dirt and had tall grass or weeds underneath it when it was found, police said.
After processing the vehicle, investigators enlisted the private lab, which has expertise in dirt and grass analysis. Police hope the plants and dirt found on the vehicle can be tied to certain areas which could be targeted for further searches.
Before enlisting assistance from the private lab, Aurora investigators found what they called “a concerning amount” of blood in the backseat. Ferrelli would not discuss the amount of blood found, other than to say it did not completely cover the back seat. Ferrelli said there is no way to tell how long the blood had been in the car.
Test revealed the blood belonged to Timmothy, police said, but the boy’s family told police it was possible it came from a bloody nose the boy suffered in the past year. The knife Fry-Pitzen used to commit suicide was found to have only her blood on it.
The last time police can say for sure that Timmothy and his mother were together was between noon and 1:30 p.m. May 13. Amy, 43, called several friends and relatives while driving south on Interstate 39 and west on Interstate 88 toward Sterling. Sterling and Rock Falls are twin cities, about 60 miles east of the Illinois-Iowa border in western Illinois.
Although Amy has no known ties to that area or Rockford, detectives have discovered she took two trips to the area near Dixon, Rock Falls and Sterling this winter.
Family members have been unable to explain why she went to the area.
Police don’t know why she took the trips.
“It’s another unanswered question in the puzzle,” Ferrelli said.
Police previously collected Amy’s work and personal computers, as well as her cell phone, but did not turned up any significant clues.
After Amy checked her only son out of school on May 11, she took him to Brookfield Zoo for the day.
The next night, Fry-Pitzen and Timmothy stayed at resort water parks. Through cell phone calls, I-Pass records and credit card receipts, police have been able to confirm that on Wednesday and Thursday, May 11 and 12, Amy mostly took main roads, chose logical point-to-point routes and made good time.
When she finally called family, the conversations seemed normal. Family heard Timmothy in the background, and at one point he got on the phone.
“He sounded OK,’’ Jim Pitzen said he was told of his son’s condition then.
At 1:30 p.m., just north of Sterling, Fry-Pitzen turned off her cell phone for the last time, authorities said. She was next seen more than six hours later, 50 miles away, when she was caught on a surveillance camera — alone — buying Ritz crackers and milk at a grocery store in Winnebago, west of Rockford.
Last week, testimony at a Winnebago County Coroner’s inquest revealed that Fry-Pitzen had neither drugs nor alcohol in her system
when she died. She did have a very high level of anti-histamine in her system. In addition to an empty box of allergy relief medication, police also found a nearly empty bottle of Triaminic, a children’s cold medicine.
Pitzen stabbed herself in the arm and neck, then bled to death on the floor of the motel’s bathroom
Pitzen left behind a suicide note
saying she had left Timmothy with someone, but did not say who.
The handwritten, five-sentence note signed “Amy” said her son was somewhere safe with people who love him and who will take care of him. “You will never find him,”
she wrote, according to testimony at the inquest. Police have said Amy had made previous suicide attempts.