(NEW YORK) — A teen whose drunk driving defense included a witness who said he was afflicted with “affluenza” was detained in Mexico after allegedly failing to check in with his probation officer and disappearing earlier this month, authorities said.
Ethan Couch, who is now 18, was convicted in 2013 of four counts of intoxication manslaughter after a drunk driving accident but avoided jail. Instead, he was sentenced to 10 years probation, sparking outrage among the victims’ families.
Couch was picked up in Puerto Vallarta on Monday at 6 p.m. local time along with his mother, according to a spokesman for the Jalisco state prosecutor’s office. Both underwent a medical check-up and were then transferred to immigration authorities. They are en route to Guadalajara to be transported to the U.S. It is unknown when that flight to America will take place.
The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office in Texas also confirmed the two were in Mexican custody.
Authorities were concerned that he allegedly missed a check-in with a probation officer and may have skipped town or the country and a juvenile judge issued a “directive to apprehend” on Dec. 11.
The U.S. Marshals Service and the FBI joined in the search.
Couch’s mother was deemed a missing person, police said earlier this month, and it was believed that she was helping him. However, she was not named a suspect because police could not prove she was assisting.
During his trial, a psychologist argued that Couch suffered from “affluenza,” meaning his behavior stemmed from his affluent upbringing.
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