A The private investigator who tried to track down Rudy Farias said he believes his mother Janie Santana may be suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy.
Brenda Paradise said The Independent that earlier he felt that many of Ms Santana’s claims about the disappearance of her son in 2015 did not add up, and said that her mother may have lied to get thousands of dollars in public donations.
Mr Farias was reported missing on March 6, 2015 after taking his two dogs for a walk, sparking an eight-year missing person investigation.
After Mr Farias was found seriously injured and reportedly unresponsive outside a Houston church on 29 June, the Houston Police Department revealed that he had in fact returned to his mother’s home the day after he went missing. he.
Houston police said Ms Santana repeatedly lied to them about her son’s disappearance, but they declined to press charges at this time pending further investigation.
Ms Paradise began working on the case three days after Mr Farias was reported missing, and spent hundreds of hours searching for him.
He said that he was no longer surprised when it happened that his mother was with him before. But his “jaw dropped” when he heard that the police would not press charges.
“If someone had been holding a little blonde girl hostage all these years, the police would have been all over this case.”
He believes Ms Santana broke several laws including filing a false police report, withholding information and obstructing an investigation.
Then there are the troubling allegations of sexual and physical abuse that Mr Farias told activist Quanell X about during a meeting at a Houston hotel on Wednesday.
Police said during a press conference this week that they have no evidence of sexual abuse.
Ms Paradise believed that Mr Farias could be considered a vulnerable adult, where a full raft of other charges might be warranted.
“Rudy’s got to do something right,” he said.
Ms Paradise, who has been involved in hundreds of missing persons cases, said it was “the strangest case I’ve ever worked on”.
The experienced investigator took The Independent through his case records, which reveal disturbing and previously undisclosed details.
Is Janie Santana suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy?
Ms. Paradise said The Independent that when he first became involved in the case, he learned that Ms Santana had created a GoFundMe page claiming that her son had been diagnosed with cancer.
He said he saw no evidence that the diagnosis was real, and wasn’t sure how much money the fundraiser attracted.
After the case of Mr. Farias began to attract attention, the cancer collector “quietly disappeared.” He said he discussed the page with the Houston Police Department (HPD).
After Mr Farias was reported missing, Ms Santana set up a second fundraiser with the aim of raising $75,000 to “help find Rudy”. He received more than $2,000 before the page was shut down this week.
Days after Mr Farias went missing, Ms Paradise said she attended a community fundraiser organized to help the search.
He told The Independent Ms Santana showed up two hours later, pocketed approximately $2,000, and then left within 20 minutes.
“I don’t know what he’s trying to get money for but it’s money earned all the way.” Ms. Paradise said The Independent.
This was supported by his aunt, Pauline Sanchez-Rodriguez, who told reporters last Thursday that she believed her brother was “manipulative and selfish”.
According to a missing person poster circulated in 2015, Mr Farias was suffering from PTSD, depression and anxiety at the time he went missing. He also reportedly has asthma.
Ms Santana took the teenager for regular check-ups at the hospital, insisting that the doctors examine and scan her for all kinds of illnesses, Ms Paradise said.
Ms Paradise said she only knew Mr Farias had a friend, a woman his mother’s age who he met while playing online.
The private investigator knew the woman, who he did not name, and said she became a mother figure to him.
In conversations since Mr Farias’ disappearance, the woman has insisted he was never seriously unwell, had no asthma, or cancer, as his mother claimed.
Farias told this female friend that she was traumatized by the death of her half-brother, Charles Uresti, in a motorcycle accident in 2011.
Ms Paradise said Ms Santana told her to go to the scene of the accident, and she found her brother’s dead body at the scene.
In 2012, Ms Santana insisted on taking her son to the hospital for brain scans, said Ms Paradise. During the visit Child Protective Services separated the couple and questioned Mr Farias.
Ms Paradise strongly believes that Ms Santana may be suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, which is defined by the Cleveland Clinic as a mental disorder in which a caregiver acts as if their loved one has a physical or mental illness when the person is never sick.
Ms Paradise has a master’s degree in counseling, and is familiar with the symptoms of the rare disease.
He also revealed that Ms Santana admitted that she saw a suicide note written by Mr Farias.
Based on the handwriting analysis, and what he now knows about the case, he believes Ms Santana wrote it after Mr Farias disappeared.
The Independent tried to contact Ms Santana to ask her about the allegations.
On 6 March 2015, Mr Farias reportedly left his home at around 6pm to take his two dogs for a walk near Tidwell and Park Drive in northwest Houston.
A few hours later one of the dogs came home. The next morning, the second dog showed up, according to a missing person report.
The 17-year-old was reported missing by his mother on 7 March 2015.
In the weeks after Mr Farias was reported missing, Ms Paradise organized a search for Mr Farias’ last known location with the local volunteer fire department using specially trained dogs and sniffer dogs. dead.
Ms Paradise said search teams recovered the child’s backpack, wallet and inhaler.
Ms Santana insisted that the purse and backpack belonged to her son, even though the two items clearly belonged to other children. They were turned over to the Houston PD, he said.
According to Ms Paradise, Ms Santana continues to appeal for money on her Facebook pages to follow up on tips.
Ms Santana operated several pages under her own name and aliases, and used photographs of attractive young women that appeared to be taken from the internet.
On Facebook, Ms Santana asked for donations to go to California to check on an injured person who matched her son’s description and showed up at the hospital, the private investigator said.
Ms Santana also asked for money to pay a ransom to a suspected human trafficker in Tijuana, Mexico, who she claimed had kidnapped Mr Farias.
He even went to a morgue to identify a dead body, after receiving a call from a medical examiner, Ms Paradise said.
He spoke to an aunt who confirmed that she went to the morgue with Ms Santana.
Ms Paradise said she encouraged Ms Santana to go on television to appeal directly for Mr Farias’ return, but she refused to show her face.
“What mother doesn’t want to put their face in there?”
Another confusing detail came when Ms Paradise learned that her mother had given an incorrect date of birth for her son.
She claimed she was 17 at the time of her disappearance, but a school ID apparently proved she was actually 18.
Ms. Paradise said The Independent He has been suspicious of the mother since the beginning of the case. When he started asking tough questions that Ms Santana didn’t like, he said they lost touch.