HOUSTON, Texas -- A Texas man who went missing as a teenager in 2015 after last being seen walking his dogs in Houston has been found alive, his family and police said, but now the mystery surrounding his re-appearance is drawing more questions than answers.
News of Rudolph 'Rudy' Farias IV's reappearance was tweeted July 2 by Texas Center for the Missing. The 25-year-old is recovering in the hospital.
In an update on Monday, Houston police said there was a reported sighting of the missing man by his family back in 2018, years after he first went missing.
On Sunday night, our sister station KTRK spoke to Farias' mother on the phone, who shared pictures of him in a hospital bed and said someone called 911 after finding him outside a church, unresponsive in southeast Houston on Thursday.
The mother added he was found with cuts and bruises all over his body and blood in his hair and believes he was badly abused and beaten.
Farias' mother said his brother was killed in a motorcycle crash in 2011. Farias reportedly wore a necklace from his brother ever since he passed, and he was still wearing it when he was found over the weekend.
She said Farias, who hasn't said much since he was found, keeps holding on to the necklace.
Farias was 17 years old when he was walking his two dogs near Tidwell and Park Drive on March 6, 2015. His family reported him missing after his dogs were recovered, but Farias was not found.
In 2015, authorities reported Farias was diagnosed with depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and anxiety. Texas EquuSearch began asking the public for help finding him, noting that he was possibly disoriented and hadn't been taking his medication.
Authorities said they temporarily suspended the search for the then-17-year-old on March 10, 2015, while they worked to gather more information. Two days later, on March 12, the hunt continued and ended the next day.
On March 13, 2015, authorities thanked searchers for their commitment while looking for Farias in rain-soaked fields.
Two years after Farias went missing, his mother told KTRK she was worried for her own safety and thought there was something suspicious about her son's disappearance.
According to police, officers got a call from Farias' family in September 2018 after he was spotted living behind a family's home. When officials arrived at the location, they didn't find the missing man.
Nearly five years later, on Sunday, July 2, 2023, authorities confirmed that Farias was located and safe.
Houston police confirmed that Farias was found at the church located on 76th and Avenue K on Thursday. A caller told authorities that someone was sleeping outside the church front doors. HPD says that Farias had an item on him with a family member's identification, which is how they were able to contact his family.
The Houston Fire Department also responded to that initial call. They told KTRK that police and Farias' mother were on the scene when they got there. Officials said Farias declined to be taken to the hospital, and was instead signed into the care of his mother.
Farias' mother on Sunday said they have tried talking to him, but he will only say a few words and go into a fetal position. She said it would be a long healing journey but is thankful her son has been found alive.
It's unclear if investigators have had a chance to interview him.
HPD said it is not actively involved in the investigation, though the Texas Center for the Missing is. KTRK reached out to them for more information about the case.