By Chris Robertson, news reporter
A 14-year-old boy who told police he had escaped from kidnappers is claiming to be Timmothy Pitzen, who went missing eight years ago.
Timmothy vanished in 2011 at the age of six after his mother's suicide in a motel in Rockford, Illinois.
The teenager claiming to be Timmothy said that after escaping his kidnappers "he kept running across a bridge" into Kentucky.
He was found walking alone in Newport, Kentucky, early yesterday morning – around 500 miles (800km) from where Timmothy went missing.
Police from Illinois are now on their way to Cincinnati in Ohio, close to where the boy was found, to meet him but are remaining cautious, saying: "We've probably had thousands of tips of him popping up in different areas.
"We have no idea what we're driving down there for.
"It could be Pitzen. It could be a hoax."
More from Illinois
The boy told officers that he had been kept at a Red Roof Inn by two men, although as there are a number of motels with that name in area, it's unclear which one he is referring to.
Police forces in the area are currently investigating hotels with the same name near to them.
The teenager claims the two men drove a Ford SUV with Wisconsin number plates.
He has now been taken to hospital and will have DNA tests to confirm his identity.
Timmothy Pitzen was dropped off at school in Aurora, Illinois, on 11 May 2011 by his father, but was picked up just hours later by his mother, Amy Fry-Pitzen, who took him on a trip.