Rudolph “Rudy” Farias IV, who disappeared in Texas in 2015 when he was 17 years old, was found alive on Thursday, eight years after he first went missing.
John Cannon, a spokesperson for the Houston police, told the Associated Press that Farias, now 25, was found around 10 p.m. local time, lying on the ground unresponsive in front of a church in south-east Houston. An unidentified person found Farias at the church and called 911.
The Texas Centre for the Missing first announced news of Farias’ reappearance, saying he was found on Saturday. The organization claimed Farias, who went missing while walking his two dogs in Houston nearly a decade ago, is currently in hospital.
Police have not publicly said where Farias has been since 2015.
Janie Santana, Farias’ mother, told local news outlet ABC-13 her son was discovered with cuts and bruises all over his body and blood in his hair. She said it appeared her son was badly beaten or abused.
Santana claimed Farias has not been able to speak to family or the police, as he can say only a few words before retreating to the fetal position.
His family is grateful that he was found alive, but they have asked for privacy to allow Farias time to heal.
Farias was reported missing in March 2015 after his two dogs returned from their walk, but Farias did not.
At the time of his disappearance, police said Farias suffered from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety. Authorities said the then-teen may have been disoriented as a result of not taking his prescribed medications.
Police and community members in Houston launched a manhunt and searched through rainy fields for several days in an attempt to find Farias in 2015 but discovered no trace of the missing boy.
There have been several alleged sightings of Farias over the years, though police were unable to verify any of the reports. Even a private investigator hired by the family had to give up the search after Farias remained missing for several years.
It is not yet clear if he disappeared voluntarily or was forcefully abducted. Police plan to interview Farias about his disappearance on Wednesday.