Six-year-old Timmothy lived with his parents, James Pitzen and Amy Joan Marie Fry-Pitzen, in Aurora, Illinois at the time of his disappearance. He is their only child.
Without telling anyone of her plans, Amy took Timmothy out of his kindergarten class at Greenman Elementary School on the morning of May 11, 2011. After checking him out of school, she drove to an auto repair shop and dropped off her blue 2004 Ford Expedition SUV at 10:00 a.m.
One of the repair shop employees drove Amy and Timmothy to the Brookfield Zoo. At 3:00 p.m. Amy came to pick up her repaired vehicle and drove with Timmothy to the KeyLime Cove Resort in Gurnee, Illinois where they spent the night.
Meanwhile, James had reported Timmothy & Amy missing after he went to pick up Timmothy from kindergarten and found out his mother had taken him. He called her cellular phone numerous times, but got no answer.
On May 12, 2011, Amy and Timmothy drove to the Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The following morning at 10:00 a.m., security camera footage showed them waiting in line to check out. At 1:30 p.m., Amy made several cellular phone calls to her loved ones to say she and Timmothy were fine and not in trouble. Timmothy could be heard in the background and sounded normal, saying only that he was hungry. This was the last time anyone saw or heard from him.
At 7:25 p.m., Amy was sighted at a Family Dollar store in Winnebago, Illinois where she purchased stationery, but this time, she was alone. She went to the nearby Sullivan's Foods at 8:00 p.m. and then checked into the Rockford Inn in Rockford, Illinois between 11:15 and 11:30 p.m.
Sometime that night or the next morning, Amy took her own life by slashing her wrists and neck; she had also taken an overdose of antihistamines. Her body was found the next day by the inn's employees at 12:30 p.m. She was 43 years old at the time of her death.
Amy left a note and two letters in the mail (one to her mother and one to a friend) saying that Timmothy was fine and with people who cared about him, but she didn't name those people. One of her notes said no one would ever find him. Her cellular phone was missing.
Other items were also missing including Timmothy's Spider-Man backpack, his toys and clothes, the clothes that Amy was wearing when she checked out of the Kalahari Resort, a tube of Crest toothpaste and an iPass transponder.
Authorities initally believed Amy had in fact given Timmothy to other people to care for, in part because his car seat was missing, however, the car seat turned up in Timmothy's grandmother's possession in Wooster, Ohio; she had had it since a week before Timmothy disappeared.
As the days passed without any indication of Timmothy's whereabouts, police became increasingly concerned for his safety.
When they examined Amy's SUV, they found traces of Timmothy's blood in the backseat, but they couldn't tell how long the stains had been there and one of Timmothy's relatives said he had gotten a bloody nose in the vehicle about 12 to 18 months before his disappearance. The knife Amy used to commit suicide had only her own blood on it.
Amy's SUV was noted as "visibly dirty" and had soil, tall grass and weeds stuck to the undercarriage when it was located after her death. Forensic testing on the plant and sediment materials on the car indicated it stopped for a time on a gravel area just off an asphalt road that had at one time been treated with glass road-making beads.
The vehicle backed into a grassy meadow or field which contained Queen Anne's lace and black mustard plants and would have been nearly treeless. Some oak or birch trees were in the general area, but not in the direct place where the car stopped. There was possibly a pond or small stream close by. There were no indications that the land was cultivated as either a lawn or for growing crops.
Investigators think the meadow is probably in Lee County or Whiteside County in northwestern Illinois, but they are also considering Carroll, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago Counties.
Investigators believe Amy may have been planning Timmothy's disappearance for months. In February and March of 2011, she took two unexplained trips to the area Timmothy would later disappear from. She had an email account opened under her maiden name in 2007 and kept it a secret from her husband, but the account didn't contain anything useful to the investigation.
James stated he was baffled by Amy's suicide and Timmothy's disappearance. He had no idea where his son could be. He and Amy's mother both stated Amy loved Timmothy and they didn't believe she would have harmed him.
Amy had suffered from depression and had reportedly left home before for extended time periods. All of Timmothy's family members have all been cooperative with the investigation and none of them have been named as suspects in his disappearance.
In the autumn of 2013, Amy's cellular phone (which was missing at the time of her death) turned up on the roadside of Route 78. Investigators went back to the place where it was found and conducted a search, but found nothing else of interest and nothing of interest in the phone itself.
Timmothy's loved ones described him as a very active, outgoing boy and a natural leader who was at ease with both adults and other children. He enjoys going to the zoo, using playground equipment (such as the swings and sandbox), bike and Go-Kart riding and his collection of Matchbox cars. He was learning how to swim at the time of his disappearance. His favorite foods including Chuck E. Cheese pizza, yogurt, macaroni and cheese and anything from McDonald's.
Timmothy is described as having brown hair & brown eyes. His nicknames are "Tim" and "Timmy." He was last seen wearing a brown t-shirt, green or blue shorts, white socks & having a Spider-Man backpack.