Pauline Sanchez is speaking out about her 25-year-old nephew, Rudolph “Rudy” Farias, who authorities in Texas recently revealed had only been gone for one day rather than the eight years that the public believed he was missing.
According to NBC News, Sanchez shared that Farias no longer wants contact with his mother, Janie Santana, who Houston police say reported her then 17-year-old son missing in March 2015.
“He’s doing well but plans to stay away from his mother,” Sanchez said, per the outlet.
Questions began swirling around the case shortly after it was announced on Sunday by the Texas Center for the Missing that Farias was found alive.
unresponsive outside of a church with cuts and bruises across his body, ABC 13 reported, and she reportedly claimed he had been abused.
“My son Rudy is receiving the care he needs to overcome his trauma, but at this time, he is nonverbal and not able to communicate with us,” reads a previous family statement shared with ABC 13.
However, during a Thursday afternoon press conference, police claimed that Farias had been living at home with his mother the whole time. An HPD Lieutenant said that Farias returned home the following day after vanishing while walking his dogs in 2015.
The lieutenant also alleged that “Rudy’s mother continued to deceive police by remaining adamant that he was still missing.” According to police, Farias and his mother had previous contact with police and had given authorities fictitious names and birth dates.
Farias is now safe and back with his mother “by choice,” authorities said at the press conference. Officials said investigators have contacted adult protective services “to ensure he has a method to recover,” but based on Farias’ interview with authorities, there was no report of abuse.
Authorities denied during the press conference that Farias admitted to being abused by his mother for years.
Neighbors said they were shocked by the news that Farias had been reported missing, saying they’ve spotted him in the neighborhood in the past few years and have even spent time with him.
“He used to come in my garage, chill with my cousin, son and daughter,” neighbor Kisha Ross claimed, per ABC 13. “That boy has never been missing.” Another neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed to ABC13 that he has seen Farias living at his mom’s home for years.
However, other neighbors claimed they haven’t seen Farias in more than eight years, according to NBC News.
At the time Farias was reported missing, he was suffering from depression after losing his brother in a motorcycle accident years earlier, NBC News reported, citing family members.
Tragically, a few years after his brother’s death, Rudy’s father, who was a Houston police officer, died by suicide after he was fired from the Houston Police Department for his alleged role in a ticket-rigging scandal, KHOU 11 reports.
Now, Sanchez says her nephew needs time to heal, away from his mother.
“His mentality, he needs to get well,” she told NBC News. “He’s going to be cautious. I still feel that he’s traumatized and gone through a lot. I still feel action should be taken.”
“He doesn’t want to see his mom and doesn’t want to go back to his mom,” Sanchez added.
No charges have been filed in the case and investigation remains ongoing.