The Baffling Story of Teen Rudy Farias: “Brainwashed” at Home and Never Missing Amid 8-Year Search

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Rudolph “Rudy” Farias IV went out to walk his two dogs on March 6, 2015, and—though the pups returned, one a few hours later and the other the next morning, both off-leash—he never came home.

That’s what the 17-year-old’s mother told Houston police the next day, Farias’ disappearance the latest blow for a family that had already suffered the deaths of his older half-brother in a motorcycle accident and his father by suicide.

“His brother was his best friend in the world,” private investigator Brenda Paradise told NBC News’ Dateline that April. “He’s just gone through so much more than anyone his age ever should.”

A Houston Police Department spokesman said at the time they did not suspect foul play and there was a designated officer tracking down any and all leads in what had been categorized as a missing person’s case.

But the trail grew cold and investigators were never able to get a read on what happened to Farias. Until he turned up June 29 at a church about eight miles away from his house and, according to police, it turned out he’d been living there with his mom all along.

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