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Rudy Farias update: Mother ‘claimed he was kidnapped by human traffickers’ while she hid Texas man in home


Rudy Farias mother is not facing charges for eight-year lie, police say

Rudy Farias’ mother once claimed that her son had been kidnapped by human traffickers while she was actually hiding him in her own home, according to a private investigator.

Brenda Paradise told The Independent she devoted hundreds of hours to finding Mr Farias but grew suspicious of his mother Janie Santana.

Ms Paradise said that Ms Santana repeatedly asked for money on her Facebook pages to help track her “missing” son down.

Once, she asked for money to pay a ransom to a suspected human trafficker in Tijuana, Mexico, who she falsely claimed had kidnapped Mr Farias. She even went to a morgue to identify a deceased body, Ms Paradise said.

Mr Farias made headlines last week when Ms Santana announced that the now-25-year-old had been “found” eight years after she reported him missing in 2015.

Houston police later confirmed that he was never missing and had been living at home with his mother the whole time.

Community activist Quanell X later claimed Mr Farias had alleged alarming abuse by his mother. After his claims were refuted by police, he doubled down in an interview with The Independent. Ms Santana has not been charged.

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Questions in the Rudy Farias case still remain

At first glance, it appeared to be a happy ending where a family was reunited and a mother’s years of agony searching for her missing child finally came to an end.

But, it quickly became apparent that things weren’t what they seemed.

Rudy Farias’ remarkable return eight years after his mother Janie Santana filed a missing persons report turned out to be nothing but a scam.

One of the biggest questions surrounding the case is why Mr Farias’ mother continued to claim he was missing for eight years – when he had actually returned home just one day after he disappeared.

A possible motive has emerged in the fact that Ms Santana profited financially from the false claims of her son’s disappearance.

Ariana Baio10 July 2023 14:30

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Rudy Farias: Timeline of the bizarre case

The discovery of a 25-year-old Texas man who had been reported missing eight years earlier was briefly welcomed as a minor miracle.

But since Rudy Farias was found with severe injuries outside of a Houston church on 29 June, the baffling story has unravelled with claims of lies, alleged abuse and greed.

Here is a timeline of the perplexing case:

Rachel Sharp10 July 2023 14:00

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Why is Rudy’s mother not facing criminal charges?

Despite police now saying they know that the eight-year disappearance was nothing but a fraud, Rudy Farias’ mother Janie Santana is not currently facing any criminal charges.

In Thursday’s press conference, Houston Police Lt Zamora said the district attorney had declined to bring any charges in the case “at this time”.

“Being missing is not a crime,” Lt Zamora said, insisting that – under Texas law – Mr Farias was classed as an adult when he went missing.

When pressed that making fictitious reports to police was a crime, authorities stood by the “integrity” of the investigation and said that it is ongoing.

Rachel Sharp10 July 2023 13:30

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Rudy Farias’ mother may face legal action from GoFundMe after she profited from fake disappearance story

Rudy Farias’ mother could soon face legal action from GoFundMe after she raked in thousands of dollars in donations by falsely claiming that her son was missing.

The fundraising platform said in a statement on Thursday that Janie Santana had been permanently banned from GoFundMe and from all future beneficiary opportunities after the bizarre scam came to light this week.

“GoFundMe has zero tolerance for the misuse of our platform and cooperates with law enforcement investigations of those accused of wrongdoing,” a company spokesperson said in a statement to The Independent.

Rachel Sharp10 July 2023 13:00

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Rudy Farias’ mother claimed son was kidnapped by human traffickers

Rudy Farias’ mother once claimed that her son had been kidnapped by human traffickers while she was actually hiding him in her own home, according to a private investigator.

Brenda Paradise told The Independent she devoted hundreds of hours to finding Mr Farias but grew suspicious of his mother Janie Santana.

While claiming her son was missing, Ms Paradise said that Ms Santana repeatedly asked for money on her Facebook pages to help track him down.

Once, she asked for money to pay a ransom to a suspected human trafficker in Tijuana, Mexico, who she falsely claimed had kidnapped Mr Farias.

She even went to a morgue to identify a deceased body, Ms Paradise said.

Rachel Sharp10 July 2023 12:26

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Was Janie Santana suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy?

Rudy Farias’ mother Janie Santana may be suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a private investigator who tried to track him down told The Independent.

Brenda Paradise said that early on she felt many of Ms Santana’s claims about her son’s disappearance in 2015 didn’t add up, and says his mother probably lied to rake in thousands of dollars in public donations.

Ms Paradise told The Independent that when she first got involved with the case days after the missing person’s report was filed, she became aware that Ms Santana had created a GoFundMe page claiming that her son had been diagnosed with cancer.

She said she didn’t see any evidence that the diagnosis was genuine, and was unsure how much money the fundraiser attracted.

After Mr Farias’ case began attracting attention, the cancer fundraiser “quietly went away.” She said she mentioned the page to the Houston Police Department (HPD).

After Mr Farias was reported missing, Ms Santana set up a second fundraiser with the goal of making $75,000 to “help find Rudy”. She received just over $2,000 before the page was shut down this week.

Days after Mr Farias disappeared, Ms Paradise said she attended a community fundraiser organised to aid the search.

She told The Independent Ms Santana showed up two hours later, pocketed approximately $2,000, and then left within 20 minutes.

“I don’t know what she’s trying to get money for but it’s been a money grab the whole way.” Ms Paradise told The Independent.

Megan Sheets10 July 2023 11:45

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Why do Quanell X and police have different accounts of the same interview?

While it is now clear that Rudy Farias’ disappearance was a fraud, what remains unclear is what he did and what he may have suffered during the mysterious eight-year time gap.

On Wednesday, Mr Farias was interviewed by Houston Police investigators.

Following the meeting, he was led out of the building by community activist Quanell X.

Quanell X told reporters that the 25-year-old claimed he had suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of his mother over the past eight years.

“I heard horrific things from that young man, and I didn’t want him to see me shedding tears but I couldn’t hold [them] back,” Quanell X told reporters. “No child should ever be treated like that by their own mother.”

He claimed Mr Farias said Ms Santana abused him, forced him to take hallucinogenic mushrooms and kept him hidden in his home all the while continuing to claim he was missing.

But, his version of events was contradicted by Houston police on Thursday who said that Mr Farias did not tell investigators he had been abused.

Lieutenant Christopher Zamora, a detective with Houston Police Department (HPD)’s missing persons unit, said that “we do take all allegations seriously and any new information or facts that we receive will be investigated”.

But Quanell X doubled down on the abuse claims in an interview with The Independent.

“I believe that Rudy is absolutely a victim,” he said after the briefing.

“The kid was distraught … absolutely distraught,” Quanell X said of Mr Farias’ demeanour in the police interview. “He went back and forth; he acted like a teenager, then he would act 20…is he 23 or 25? He went back and forth between like a child state to a mature state.”

Quanell X went on to accuse police of “trying to hide from conducting a shady sham investigation”.

“It’s all confusing as hell to me now,” he said. “I think they’re revictimising the kid all over again. I believe he needs extensive medical, psychological help and treatment.”

Rachel Sharp10 July 2023 09:45

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Where is Rudy Farias’ mother now?

Rumours are swirling that Rudy Farias’ mother Janie Santana is “on the run” following explosive abuse claims.

A neighbour reportedly called 911 on Thursday night to report seeing Ms Santana leave her home in Houston just after midnight.

It came hours after police confirmed that Ms Santana had lied about her son being missing for eight years – but refuted abuse claims by local activist Quanell X.

Ms Santana had speculated on Wednesday that she would be arrested before authorities announced that prosecutors are not planning to press charges.

Her current whereabouts are unknown.

Megan Sheets10 July 2023 07:45

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PI says her ‘jaw dropped’ when she learned the truth about Rudy Farias

A private investigator who tried to track down Rudy Farias has told The Independent of her shock at learning that his mother Janie Santana will not face charges for lying about the disappearance for eight years.

Brenda Paradise began working on the case three days after Mr Farias was reported to have gone missing in 2015, and devoted hundreds of hours to finding him.

Ms Paradise said that early on she felt many of Ms Santana’s claims about her son’s disappearance didn’t add up, and that his mother probably lied to rake in thousands of dollars in public donations.

She said she wasn’t surprised when Mr Farias turned out to have been with his mother all along. But her “jaw dropped” when she heard police would not be pressing charges.

“If somebody had held a little blonde girl hostage all those years, police would have been all over this case.”

Read more from The Independent’s Bevan Hurley:

Megan Sheets10 July 2023 04:45

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Watch: Police announce Janie Santana not facing charges

Rudy Farias mother is not facing charges for eight-year lie, police say

Megan Sheets10 July 2023 02:45


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