HOUSTON — For the first time, Rudy Farias, the young man who police say went along with his mother’s lies about being missing for eight years, spoke about why he obliged.
Farias said that for eight long years, his mother would brainwash him, convincing him that he’d get in trouble if he didn’t go along with her nearly-decade lie.
“She never locked me in or handcuffed me or anything like that,” Farias said. “I had free will to leave. It just felt like brainwashing me. It just kept confusing me, the way she would manipulate me into saying, ‘You’re going to get arrested.'”
In 2015, Farias was reported missing when he was 17 years old after his mother, Janie Santana, told police her son never returned home from a walk. Eight years later, Farias was found outside of a church on June 29. According to Houston police investigators, Farias returned the day after he went missing, and the two have been deceiving police and the community ever since.
Houston police made sure to point out that Farias was an adult at the time. He says he may have been an adult, but felt he had to listen to his mother, the only family he felt he really had or could trust.
“She locked me in there pretty much, mentally,” Farias said. “She was my only parent, the only person I really ever had besides my brother. When I lost my brother, I didn’t have anyone to teach me how to live, or to have confidence or trust in myself. So I depended on my mom all my life.”
“After he passed away, I wasn’t able to love myself for anything anymore,” Farias said. “I wasn’t able to have someone like a father figure. You know, he was my brother, but I never had a dad.”
During the eight years, Farias said he rarely left home, other than to go to work with his mom. He said an officer once pulled him over while driving his mother’s car but said he used a fake name. According to Farias, he was kept in isolation, even when family members came over.
“I would have to listen to my family be happy and cheerful on the other side of a door, and I would be like, ‘I want my family. I want people. I just want communication,'” Farias said. “It’s like I lived in prison. It’s like I lived in a jail my whole life. I just wanted to be free. I wanted to have my own job. I just wanted to live my life. I just wanted to love somebody, have someone else that would actually love me. I struggled to understand my emotions.”