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"That Boy Has Never Been Missing": Neighbors Question Years-Long Disappearance of Man Who Was Recently Found
Rudy Farias' mother has said she's thankful that her son has been found after he allegedly vanished as a teen, but neighbors say he's been living with her for years.
Neighbors of the family of the 25-year-old Houston man found alive eight years after going missing as a teenager are questioning if he was ever really missing.
The Texas Center for the Missing announced July 1 that Rudolph “Rudy” Farias IV was found after going missing on March 6, 2015, when he was 17.
However, neighbors of Farias’ mother, Janie Santana, say they never knew that the man was ever reported missing and that they would often hang out with him.
"He used to come in my garage, chill with my cousin, son, and daughter," Kisha Ross — who lived on the same street as Santana, according to court records — told Houston-based TV station KTRK. "That boy has never been missing."
Ross’ cousin, Broderick Conley, said he would hang out with Farias and have “laughing good times” together.
Neighbors said they know Farias as Dolph, short for Rudolph, adding that they had not seen Farias in weeks.
Santana told local news station KPRC that good Samaritans called 911 when they saw Farias outside a southeast Houston church at 10 p.m. on June 29. Authorities later confirmed that it was Farias. Santana told KTRK that she was thankful her son was found alive.
Farias’ mother originally reported him missing in March of 2015 when he never returned from walking his dogs, according to Texas EquuSearch, which helped in the search for him, along with the Houston Police Department.
The search organization said in its initial search reports that Farias suffered from depression, PTSD and anxiety at the time of his disappearance. His mother told authorities he had been struggling since his brother died in a motorcycle accident in 2011.
"He said he had lost a brother in a motorcycle accident," Ross said. "I know when he was thinking about his brother, he wouldn't come to hang out; he would go and sit there in the back in the woods by himself."'
Houston police spokesman John Cannon told the Associated Press that Farias’ family reported to investigators that they had seen him staying behind the home of a relative in September 2018. When investigators followed up on the 2018 sighting, the family said they could not locate him, so the missing persons case remained open.
Another neighbor, who remained anonymous, told KTRK that Farias had been living with his mother for years.
"I was just shocked someone over here was missing, and we see him," the neighbor said. "It's shocking to everyone."
Santana claimed that the man her neighbors had seen and spent time with was actually her nephew. After sharing a picture of her nephew, her neighbors said that wasn’t him.
"I do not know. That's what I have been trying to figure out all day," Ross said, trying to wrap her head around why anyone would say Farias had been missing. "I am confused right now. I am like, 'What's going on?'"
Missing persons investigators from the Houston Police Department reportedly had plans to speak with Farias on Wednesday to try to determine his whereabouts since he was reported missing in 2015.