Days after it was revealed that a Houston, Texas, man was found alive after disappearing as a teenager eight years ago, authorities have released new details in the puzzling case.
During a Thursday afternoon press conference, Houston Police Department authorities revealed that Rudy Farias, now 25, was never missing during the eight year period that the public believed he was.
An HPD Lieutenant said that in 2015, Farias, then 17, returned home the following day after being reported missing by his family after vanishing while walking his dogs. The lieutenant also said that it was determined that Farias had previous contact with HPD, but he and his mother, Janie Santana, had given authorities fictitious names and birth dates.
“Rudy’s mother continued to deceive police by remaining adamant that he was still missing,” the lieutenant added. At this time, The Harris County District Attorney’s Office is not charging Farias or Santana for making the fictitious reports.
Officials said investigators have reached out to adult protective services “to ensure he has a method to recover,” but based on Farias’ interview with authorities, there was no report of sexual abuse. Farias is now safe and back with his mother “by choice,” authorities said at the press conference.
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.
“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. “We are asking for privacy during this difficult time but will share more details as Rudy continues to heal.”
Farias was transported to the hospital after being found unresponsive outside of a church with cuts and bruises across his body, Farias’ mom told ABC 13.
However, this week, neighbors disputed the mother’s claim, saying they’ve spotted Farias 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.” Citing civil court records, ABC 13 reports Farias’ mom does live on the same street as Ross in northeast Houston.
Ross’ cousin, Broderick Conley, claimed he and Farias often hung out together and had “laughing good times.” But Ross and Conley said they have not seen Farias in the last few weeks.
Another neighbor, who wished to remain anonymous, claimed to ABC 13 that he has seen Farias living at his mom’s home for years.
Houston activist Quanell X spoke to media outlets on Wednesday and claimed that Farias told him that he was abused by his mother for years, KHOU 11 reports. However, authorities disputed these claims at Thursday’s press conference, but did not directly name Quanell. Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.
HPD also revealed this week that Farias’ family contacted authorities in 2018 to report that he was staying behind a relative’s home, but he was never found after police searched the property, USA Today reports.
A spokesperson with the Houston Police Department previously declined to comment to PEOPLE on the case, citing the active investigation.