Houston police claimed Thursday that a man who had been missing for eight years was not genuinely lost, and that his mother had tricked them.
Rudolph “Rudy” Farias, who went missing as a teenager eight years ago, had been recovered alive, but community members questioned whether he was really actually absent.
Farias’ mother, Janie Santana, reported her son missing on March 7, 2015, when he was 17 years old, according to police. On March 8, he returned home, but his mother continued to deceive police by insisting he was still missing.
“During the eight-year time frame where he was missing, investigators followed up on many tips, leads, collected evidence proving that Rudy was not missing during the eight-year period,” Lt. Christopher Zamora of the homicide division’s missing persons unit at the Houston Police Department said at a news conference Thursday. “Many of these facts included contacts and statements with relatives, friends, neighbors and medical professionals.”
Zamora said that both Farias and his mother had interactions with Houston Police officers over the last eight years. But he and Santana gave false names and birth dates, “misleading officers,” he told reporters, “and Rudy would remain missing.” Santana also alleged that her nephew “was the person friends and family were seeing coming and going,” rather than her son, Tx Center 4 Missing. You can see the tweet below:
Update: 7/1/23– After 8 long years, Rudy has been located safe. Please continue to keep his family in your prayers as Rudy recovers in the hospital. https://t.co/AFqj9qvm9G
— TX Center 4 Missing (@TXCenter) July 2, 2023
The district attorney’s office had so far declined to file any charges for making fictitious reports when Houston police gave their latest update on Thursday. Investigators have contacted adult protective services and connected Farias “with victim services to ensure that he has a method to recover,” Zamora said, although he noted that, based on Farias’ interview with Houston police, “there were no reports of sexual abuse” as some rumors claimed.
“If there is a disclosure made, we will continue to investigate,” Zamora said. “Currently, the investigation is active and there are new leads coming in, and we will continue to follow those leads.”
Houston Police said, Farias was discovered outside a church in Houston’s Magnolia Park area about 10 p.m. last Thursday. The Texas Center for the Missing, a nonprofit organization that focuses on missing persons cases, stated in a tweet over the weekend that Farias was “located safe” and recovering at a hospital, though it did not provide further details. You can see the tweet below:
Rudy Farias was found about 10 p.m. last Thurs (June 29) outside a church on 76th St. at Ave. L.
HPD missing persons investigators plan to speak with Rudy & his family on Weds to determine his whereabouts since he was reported missing in 2015.
Any updates will be posted here. https://t.co/A1w6rgymW4
— Houston Police (@houstonpolice) July 3, 2023
Officials had stated that Farias went missing in March 2015 while walking his dogs in north Houston. The dogs were later found, but Farias was nowhere to be found.
According to Farias’ aunt, his mother was a “mess” in the aftermath of her son’s claimed homecoming. Farias’ family expressed fear to the station several years ago that he had been abducted and trafficked.
“He has such a huge heart. He loves with all his heart,” Farias’ mother told KHOU one year after his disappearance. “That’s why we know he wouldn’t just get up and go on his own.”
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However, neighbors who claim to have spent time with Farias since he allegedly departed have questioned the family’s tale and if he genuinely vanished. Kisha Ross, who lives on the same street as Santana in northeast Houston, told ABC affiliate KTRK-TV that she was surprised to learn Farias was discovered last week and had no idea he had been reported missing.
In the aftermath of Farias’ apparent return home this week, Quanell X, a Houston-based community organizer, spoke to news outlets including CBS affiliate KHOU. The activist cast doubt on his family’s tale, saying he met Farias on Wednesday after Farias’ mother, Janie Santana, requested him to come to the hotel in Humble where they were meeting with investigators.
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