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Texas man reported missing as a teen in 2015 returned home the next day, police say

The announcement came a week after police said they found Farias after receiving a call about a person lying on the ground in front of a southeast Houston church

Rudy Farias' aunts, from left, Sylvia Sanchez Lopez, Pauline Sanchez and Michelle Sanchez speak outside Houston Police headquarters after HPD Chief Troy Finner gave an update on the Farias case, Thursday, July 6, 2023 in Houston.
Rudy Farias' aunts, from left, Sylvia Sanchez Lopez, Pauline Sanchez and Michelle Sanchez speak outside Houston Police headquarters after HPD Chief Troy Finner gave an update on the Farias case, Thursday, July 6, 2023 in Houston.Brett Coomer (AP)

A Texas man who went missing as a teenager in 2015 returned home the next day but he and his mother deceived officers by giving false names over the ensuing eight years, police said Thursday.

Houston police detectives said prosecutors have declined to bring false report charges against Janie Santana and her son, Rudolph “Rudy” Farias IV, but that their investigation is continuing.

The announcement came a week after police said they found Farias after receiving a call about a person lying on the ground in front of a southeast Houston church.

Authorities had not previously said where Farias, now 25, spent the eight years since he was reported missing after taking his two dogs for a walk near his family’s home in northeast Houston. He was hospitalized after police found him last week and detectives interviewed him and his mother on Wednesday.

“After investigators talked with him yesterday, it was discovered that Rudy returned home the following day on March 8, 2015,” Lt. Christopher Zamora said during a news conference. “The mother, Janie, continued to deceive police by remaining adamant that Rudy was still missing.”

After Farias was reported missing, Houston police and Texas Equusearch, a civilian search and recovery team, looked for him without success, although his dogs were later found.

A missing poster for Rudolph "Rudy" Farias IV is shown during the Missing Person Day event at City Hall Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Houston.
A missing poster for Rudolph "Rudy" Farias IV is shown during the Missing Person Day event at City Hall Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Houston. Melissa Phillip (AP)

In the years following, there were several possible sightings of Farias, according to a private investigator hired by the teen′s mother a few months after he went missing. They included one sighting in 2018 that police responded to, but the investigation remained open as a missing person case.

Upon police announcing they’d found her son, Santana released a statement saying, he “is receiving the care he needs to overcome his trauma, but at this time, he is nonverbal and not able to communicate with us.”

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