The Texas teen who made headlines after successfully escaping jail because he was just too rich and spoiled is back (or, well, sorta). Where is Ethan Couch, the infamous "affluenza" teen? The FBI has now joined a manhunt for Couch, who failed to check in with a probation officer and is presumed to be on the lam with his mother.
Couch killed four people while driving drunk in 2013, and was famously defended in court as having "affluenza," or not understanding real-world consequences after being coddled by his rich parents. Instead of taking that opportunity to teach Couch that, no, killing four pedestrians is not something that should be treated lightly, the Fort Worth judge continued to give special treatment to the teen by sentencing him to probation.
Now, surprise(!), Couch has disappeared. Just weeks after a video of him playing beer pong surfaced online, Couch missed a meeting with his probation officer. Since then, no one has been able to locate Couch or his mother, Tanya, whom he lives with. When officials went to check on the pair, their house was completely empty except for a pinball machine.
This is, perhaps, not actually that surprising if you think about it logically. How would someone who has never understood actual consequence finally learn them by being treated with kid gloves? According to the Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, Couch is thought to have fled the country with his wealthy mother. Because, in Couch's world, money is no object.
The search for Couch quickly spread from a local to national. On Thursday, the FBI and U.S. Marshals joined Dallas-area authorities in the hunt for Couch, which already included the Texas Rangers. Couch could be skipping town to avoid what a spokesman for the Tarrant County sheriff's office called "big-boy jail," or the fate that would surely await Couch if they could find him.
But, as Sheriff Anderson pointed out, that could be difficult. "I fear he's gone a long way, and I won't be shocked if he's out of the country," he told NBC News, adding that Couch and his mother "ability to make things like that happen."
Ah, you mean like get away with killing four people with a made up affliction and successfully tricking a jury into feeling like your wealth and privilege was an ailment? Yeah, I'm guessing they could skip the country pretty easily. And who coulda seen that coming?
Images via screenshot/NBC News