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Police Say Rudy Farias Was ‘Not Missing.’ Here’s What to Know

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Rudolph “Rudy” Farias, a now 25-year-old man who was reported missing eight years ago, has been living with his mother the entire time, authorities said Thursday.

Details are still coming forth, but Houston police said Farias was “not missing” between the time frame of the missing persons report in March 2015 and when he was found in front of a Houston church eight miles from his house, on June 29.

The case made national headlines and upon his discovery, Farias’ mother, Janie Santana, said that Farias was “receiving the care he needs to overcome his trauma.” Police, however, now reveal that Farias had actually returned home a day after he was reported missing in 2015.

Officers said that the case is still under investigation, and the district attorney has not announced any charges at the moment.

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Here’s what we know about the case.

What happened?

On March 7, 2015, the then-17 year-old allegedly went missing while walking two of his dogs in Houston. Investigators previously reported that Farias was experiencing depression after seeing his brother die in front of him, NBC News reports.

Santana maintained that her son was missing throughout the years, but authorities say he returned just a day after his initial disappearance. After Farias was found sleeping in front of an east Houston church in late June, his family released a statement saying that a “good Samaritan located him unresponsive and immediately called police and 911.” Farias was allegedly nonverbal when he was found.

Farias, however, was not transported to the hospital after he refused and was left in the care of his family, authorities said.

Police say they had doubts about Farias’ disappearance as officers had gathered several tips that proved that “Rudy was not missing during the eight-year period,” Zamora said. Farias and his mother had spoken to officers multiple times during the past eight years, but had given authorities false information, including fake names and dates of birth, Houston police Lt. Christopher Zamora said during a press conference.

“He made contact with patrol officers out on the street. However, during these contacts, fictitious names and dates of birth were given, misleading officers, and Rudy would remain missing,” Zamora said.

Conflicting reports

Days after Farias had been reportedly found, neighbors began speaking to local news outlets, saying that they’d regularly seen Farias since his alleged 2015 disappearance.

“He used to come in my garage, chill with my cousin, son, and daughter,” Neighbor Kisha Ross told ABC13. “That boy has never been missing.”

Several people had also claimed to see Farias come in and out of his house throughout the past few years, but his mother had identified Farias as her nephew, according to authorities.

Houston Police Chief Troy Finner said that he could not pinpoint the motivation behind Santana’s false claims. Police did acknowledge that giving a fake name to police, which they alleged Farias did at least once, is a crime. But there are ongoing questions about what happened to Farias. “I’m not going to say if he’s a victim or not,” Finner said during Thursday’s press conference.

Farias is now back home with his mother, according to authorities. “The investigation is active, and there are new leads coming in. We’ll continue to follow those leads,” Zamora said.

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