Jose Villa, his wife, and 13-year-old son said they remember when Timmothy Pitzen would visit as if it were yesterday. They said they treated him like one of their own.
A 14-year-old claiming to be Pitzen escaped an unknown Red Roof Inn in Ohio where he was being held, the police report filed Wednesday reports, and "kept running across a bridge" into Kentucky.
"It's not something that you can swallow so easily," Villa said. "The only place you would find that kid is their house and this house. If not watching TV, he was playing outside with my kids."
Pitzen's picture hangs among the other kids'. When he stopped coming, no one was expecting anything was wrong with the boy, his father or his mother.
"It was so fast," Villa said.
They keep Timothy’s bike waiting for him.
The current owners of the Pitzen’s Aurora home cherish what they call "Timothy’s garden" in the backyard. And a cement cast of his hand and foot they saved when they moved in.
This was Timothy’s house, his playground," owner Jacqueline Melendez said. "I have hope that one day he’ll pass by and say that was my playground."
In fact, she’s left the now dilapidated tent on top Just as it was when Pitzen left it all those years ago.