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

Private investigator told The Independent she grew suspicious of Janie Santana after devoting hundreds of hours to finding Rudy Farias

Ariana Baio,Rachel Sharp
Monday 10 July 2023 22:14 BST
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.


Watch: Police confirm Rudy Farias’ mother will not facing charges for eight-year lie

Rudy Farias mother is not facing charges for eight-year lie, police say
Ariana Baio8 July 2023 04:00

A timeline in the strange case of Rudy Farias

Rudy Farias was reported missing on 7 March 2015, sparking an eight-year search. In reality, police say he was at his mother’s house all along

Bevan Hurley reports:

Rudy Farias: A timeline of the bizarre case of the ‘missing’ Texas man

Rudy Farias was reported missing on 7 March 2015, sparking an eight year search. In reality, police say he was at his mother’s house all along

Ariana Baio8 July 2023 05:00

Rudy Farias’ mother said she expected to be arrested

Janie Santana told neighbours she thought she was going to be arrested after her son Rudy Farias was reportedly “found” eight years after he was reported missing.

In a video clip, obtained by KPRC 2, Ms Santana is seen speaking to her neighbours as she got out of her car on Wednesday.

“When he first went missing, he didn’t report it to the police,” Ms Santana said.

She added: “And they are trying to say that he might have done some crimes. Which he didn’t. And now they want to arrest me. Because they said I was hiding him.”

Ariana Baio8 July 2023 06:00

Quanell X doubles down on claims Rudy Farias was abused by his mother

A community activist who first aired claims that Rudy Farias was abused by his mother has doubled down after a denial by Houston police.

Quanell X, who says he was in the room with Mr Farias when he spoke to investigators on Wednesday, emerged from the meeting to tell reporters that the 25-year-old had described being hidden and subjected to abuse by his mother, Janie Santana, for eight years after she reported him missing in 2015.

Houston police officials denied this account at a press conference on Thursday, saying there was no evidence that Mr Farias was abused.

Reached by The Independent shortly after the press conference, Quanell X said: “I believe that Rudy is absolutely a victim.”

Bevan Hurley and Sheila Flynn report:

Activist doubles down on Rudy Farias abuse claims after confusing police denial

EXCLUSIVE: Community activist Quanell X tells The Independent: ‘I believe that Rudy is absolutely a victim’

Ariana Baio8 July 2023 07:00

The GoFundMe for Rudy Farias

GoFundMe campaign for Rudy Farias
GoFundMe campaign for Rudy Farias (GoFundMe)
Ariana Baio8 July 2023 08:00

Relative of Rudy Farias says his mother is ‘manipulative’

Michelle Rodriguez, the cousin of Rudy Farias, speculated that something more sinister may be occurring in case of his fictitious disappearance.

While speaking with Chris Cuomo for NewsNation on Thursday evening, Ms Rodriguez said it was not like Mr Farias to lie about his disappearance but it was like his mother, Janie Santana

“She’s very conniving, she’s very manipulative,” Ms Rodriguez said. “She tries to make people fear her.”

Ariana Baio8 July 2023 09:00

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 and those accused of wrongdoing,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Newsweek.

“Our trust and safety team takes swift action against those who exploit the generosity of our community, including with the outright removal of a fundraiser, banning an account for violating our terms of service, and even pursuing potential legal recourse.”

Rachel Sharp reports:

Rudy Farias’ mother may face legal action from GoFundMe

Janie Santana has allegedly been profiting from the scam after she claimed her son was missing for the last eight years

Ariana Baio8 July 2023 10:00

ICYMI: District Attorney will not pursue charges against Rudy Farias’ mother

Houston police confirmed that 25-year-old Rudy Farias was not missing for the eight years his mother claimed he was but said the Houston district attorney declined to pursue charges against Jamie Santana.

Ms Santana could have been charged with “making fictitious reports” or “failure to ID” but the DA chose not to make those charges.

Police could not offer a possible motive behind why Ms Santana claimed her son was missing when he was not.

Ariana Baio8 July 2023 11:00

Rudy Farias was spotted in 2018

In the eight years that Rudy Farias was “missing” he was sighted by his cousin once in 2018 and reported to police.

In 2018, Mr Farias’ cousin, Cassandra Lopez, called Houston police to say he had been spotted at his mother’s home, according to Click 2 Houston.

When officers showed up at Ms Santana’s home, they said they didn’t find any sign of the missing boy.

Lieutenant Christopher Zamora, a detective with Houston Police Department (HPD)’s missing persons unit, told reporters this week that officers had unspecified interactions with Mr Farias during the eight years he was “missing”. It was unclear when exactly this happened.

During those interactions, he said both mother and son gave false names and dates of birth to officers, and claimed that Mr Farias was her nephew not her son.

Ariana Baio8 July 2023 12:00

Cousin of Rudy Farias describes his mother as ‘manipulative'

Ariana Baio8 July 2023 13:00

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