Houston police said Wednesday they’ve launched an investigation into the alleged disappearance — and discovery — of a 25-year-old man who reportedly been gone for eight years.
It was widely reported over the weekend that Rudy Farias was “located safe” in Houston after a years-long search.
But at least one neighbor is insisting Farias was never missing and had been living with his mom on their block. That account was backed up by a community activist who said he was with Farias when he met with Houston police detectives Wednesday.
“This young man said when he initially ran away, he came back two days later,” said the activist, Quanell X, during a news conference after the meeting with detectives.
The activist added that Farias’ mother, Janie Santana, was present for part of the meeting with police. Efforts to reach her for comment were unsuccessful Wednesday evening.
The Houston Police Department confirmed the meeting but said in a statement that detectives were unable to discuss specifics or say if the allegations were accurate.
Authorities planned to discuss the case further Thursday, the department said.
A police spokesman said earlier that investigators were meeting with the family to determine “what actually transpired.”
“We’re trying to get to the bottom of what occurred,” said the spokesman, Victor Senties.
Senties declined to say whether Farias had ever been reported missing to HPD or any other law enforcement agency in Texas.
Melissa Rangel, case manager for the Texas Center for the Missing, said she was aware of reports questioning if the young man has really been missing for eight years, Rangel said. “Right now all we’re focusing with Rudy is having Rudy returning home.”
She declined to discuss the case further after Quanell X’s news conference.
Neighbor Kisha Ross, a 44-year-old delivery driver, insists Farias has been living two doors down from her with his mom.
“He’s been staying with his mom ever since I moved to Houston” eight months ago, Ross said. “His momma has been making him go to work with her at 7 p.m. and she wouldn’t let him get no job, she wouldn’t let him do nothing. She made him stay up under her at all times.”
Farias is a regular visitor to Ross’ house, the neighbor said, to socialize with her son, daughter and cousin.
“That boy hasn’t been missing for no eight years,” Ross said of the young man known as “Dolph” to her and her family. “They stay two houses down from me. That boy comes to my house. He’s been in my living room.”
Farias was found Thursday at a church roughly 8 miles from his family’s home, according to an investigator with Texas EquuSearch, a nonprofit search-and-rescue service, who helped search for Farias.
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