OCEANSIDE — A local mother continues the search to find her 15-year-old son, who has been missing since leaving his Oceanside residence last month.
Jennie Moya last saw her son, Rudy Moya, on Dec. 16 around 7:30 p.m. at home, about an hour before he allegedly hopped into an Uber and disappeared into the night. Before leaving, he cleaned his room and wrote a note for his mother explaining why he left.
Rudy has been missing for over two weeks. A sophomore at El Camino High School, Rudy skipped the last week of classes before the winter break, missing all of his finals.
“This is completely out of character for him,” Jennie said.
Rudy’s mother described him as a kind young man, an excellent athlete in track, wrestling and football, and an overall great, loving son.
After his mother told him it was time to disassociate himself from some problematic friends or they would have to relocate to Fort Worth, Texas, where his stepfather is stationed in the Air Force, Rudy wrote the note and left.
On the night Rudy disappeared, an Uber picked him up at 8:30 p.m. at the Holiday Inn at 1410 Carmelo Drive. According to the family, a parent of one of Rudy’s friends had paid for his 15-minute ride elsewhere in the city.
According to the police, Uber won’t reveal information about the ride to show where he was dropped off because a crime technically hasn’t been committed.
Police were granted access to search the home of the parent who allegedly bought Rudy’s Uber and found no trace of the teenager.
“We’re doing everything we can to find him,” said Police Capt. John McKean, who also noted the trickiness of the situation due to the lack of a crime and evidence of Rudy’s disappearance.
Rudy is one of 261 reported missing juveniles the police department received in 2023. Approximately five children are reported missing every week in Oceanside.
Many of these cases involve runaway cases like Rudy and a lot of those children eventually return home within a few weeks, according to McKean.
Rudy’s family has also received some alarming texts from anonymous contacts pretending to know where he is and that his life is in danger. McKean said this often happens after families attempt to spread the word on social media.
As the search for Rudy continues, his family has started holding candlelight vigils every Saturday by the Oceanside Pier from 8:30 to 8:45 p.m., the time that symbolizes the length of his Uber ride on the night he disappeared.
The family has started a Facebook page called Bring Rudy Home, where they post updates and informational posters to help find Rudy. They have also reached out to the FBI and the Center for Missing and Exploited Children about Rudy’s disappearance.
If you have any information related to Rudy’s whereabouts, please contact Oceanside Police at (760) 435-4900.