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A Texas man reported missing as a teen 8 years ago has been at home with his mom all along, police say


By Michelle Krupa and Dakin Andone, CNN

(CNN) — A Texas man reported missing eight years ago as a teen actually returned home a day later and has been there all along with his mother, who deceived police by giving fake names and insisting he was gone in the years before his discovery last week at a Houston church, city police said Thursday.

Rudolph “Rudy” Farias IV, 25, returned home March 8, 2015, one day after he was reported missing, Lt. Christopher Zamora said in a news conference. While Houston officers had interacted since then with Farias and his mother, both provided fake names and dates of birth, misleading officers, he said.

His mother “continued to deceive police by remaining adamant that Rudy was still missing,” he said.

Farias is now back home with his mother, police said Thursday. CNN has reached out to his mother for comment.

The district attorney “has declined any charges at this time for making fictitious reports and failure to ID,” Zamora said, adding, “The investigation is active, and there are new leads coming in. We’ll continue to follow those leads.”

Thursday’s update by Houston Police comes a week after authorities said Farias was found sleeping in front of an east Houston church – and more than eight years after he purportedly went missing on March 6, 2015, according to a flyer from the Texas Center for the Missing. The then-17-year-old vanished while walking his two dogs in northwest Houston, CNN affiliate KHOU reported.

CNN reached out to the Texas Center for the Missing, which directed questions to law enforcement.

“After investigators talked with him yesterday, it was discovered that Rudy returned home the following day, on March 8, 2015,” Zamora said Thursday, but his mother, Janie Santana, “continued to deceive police by remaining adamant that Rudy was still missing.”

Zamora suggested police were skeptical that Farias was, in fact, missing. Over the years, investigators pursued various leads and tips and “collected evidence proving that Rudy was not missing during the eight-year period,” he said.

At times, other people saw Farias, Zamora indicated. But Santana “alleged her nephew was the person friends and family were seeing coming and going,” he said. “However, we disputed that,” Zamora added.

Asked about whether Farias might face charges, Zamora confirmed it was against the law to give officers a fake name when detained, under arrest or making a police report, and that Farias himself did so in at least one instance.

“At this time though, the district attorney has declined to accept charges on that until our entire investigation has been complete,” the lieutenant said.

Farias is “with his mother by choice,” Zamora said, noting he is 25 years old. Police have reached out to Adult Protective Services and connected Farias with the police department’s Victim’s Services.

Nearly 360,000 reports of missing children were made to the FBI in 2022, a figure that may include duplicates, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

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