Linda, the grandmother of missing Illinois boy Timmothy Pitzen, believes he lives with Mormons

US News

Family and friends of missing Illinois boy Timmothy Pitzen believe he lives in a religious community, without access to the outside world or the internet, and may not know who he is.

Linda Pitzen, the boy's paternal grandmother, theorizes that her daughter-in-law, 43-year-old Amy Fry-Pitzen, gave Timmothy away to Mormons in May 2011, just days before she committed suicide, leaving behind only a brief, mysterious suicide.

In the note, Fry-Pitzen assured her family that Timmothy was safe and had been placed in the care of others who “love” him, but warned them that he would never be found.

Linda Pitzen “tormented” herself trying to decipher the note and, together with her family, is convinced that her grandson is still alive.

“I think she wanted Timm to be raised as a Mormon,” Linda Pitzen told the US Sun. “The rest of us are not Mormon, and I think this was her way of making sure he became one after she left.”

Timmothy Pitzen's grandmother believes his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, gave her son over to the Mormons before committing suicide in 2011. Arellano

“She didn't force it on anyone except Jim. But he was reluctant and I think her church may have put a little pressure on her, I don't know.

“But she went to a Mormon church. She wasn't raised that way, she was a convert – and that was before Jim met her.”

On May 11, 2011, Amy Fry-Pitzen withdrew her then six-year-old son from school early in Aurora, Illinois, telling staff that there was a family emergency.

After Linda Pitzen “tormented” herself for years to decipher the note together with her family, she is convinced that her grandson is still alive. Tribune News Service via Getty Images

After cutting off contact with her family for 48 hours, Amy spoke to her mother and her husband's brother Jim on May 13 and told them they would be coming home soon.

The little boy could be heard making noises in the background and at some point he was called to the phone.

After the call, Amy turned off her phone. The last location reported was the small town of Sterling, 80 miles west of Aurora.

Amy was found dead in a motel room in Rockford, Illinois on May 14.

Her death was ruled a suicide due to a prescription drug overdose and deep razor cuts on her wrists.

Timmothy was never found.

Hannah Soukup, a former classmate of the boy, suspected that Timmothy was given to people his mother had instructed to keep away from the world.

“I think she dropped him off somewhere – I don't know if it was in a religious area or something like that – but I think she dropped him off and gave him to people that she knew would keep him safe and hide him,” Soukoup told the outlet on the 13th anniversary of his disappearance.

“Whatever Amy did, she hid him well,” Soukup added. “I think she made it clear that either his identity had to be changed or he had to stay off the internet so he would never know he was missing.”

An age development photo showing what a 13-year-old Timmothy Pitzen would look like.

Linda Pitzen agrees with Soukup's theory and claims that Amy may have given her son to a commune.

“I read that suicide note, and if you read that letter and you know her, I would guess that she probably put someone in a building,” she said. “I have to hope that's true, because that would be a much better option for me than the other options.”

Timmothy's former classmate also continues to hold on to the hope that he is still alive and that if he were to resurface, it would not be because someone was looking for him.

Six-year-old Timmothy was last seen alive holding the hand of his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, on May 13, 2011, as the couple checked out of a water park hotel resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Aurora PD

“One of my theories is that if he is found, he will resurface on his own and will not be tracked down by police or investigators,” Soukup said.

Timmothy's family continues to wish for his return and hopes that new technologies could play a key role in solving the mysterious disappearance.

Investigators found dirt and grass under Amy's car, which they examined and which came from northern Illinois. The mother had presumably been there before she drove off alone and committed suicide.

Soukup believes that thanks to technological advances, it will be possible to determine the location of the message and thus find out where Amy went before her death and where Timmothy is.

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