Why Did The Affluenza Teen Disappear?

by Melissa Cruz

Ethan Couch, the "affluenza" teenager who had been previously convicted on charges of manslaughter, was caught in Mexico on Monday after being pursued by authorities for several weeks. He was wanted on a violation of probation charge. But why did the affluenza teen run?

The teen originally made headlines in 2013, after causing a drunk driving crash that left four people dead. His attorneys successfully argued that Couch suffered from "affluenza," a condition in which one is so wealthy that they cannot understand the consequences of their actions. Because of this, he was only given a 10-year probation sentence and later ordered to attend rehab.

Couch had been missing since mid-December, after an alleged video of him participating in a game of beer pong surfaced online. The video shows a person who looks like Couch cheering and laughing with a group of people playing the drinking game. Though only six seconds long, the clip was enough to get the attention of the Burleson Police Department, who then launched an investigation into the video and the teen's subsequent activities. If the contents of the video were deemed truthful, Couch would be in violation of his probation, which stated that he could not drive, drink alcohol, or use drugs.

After getting off on what many criticized as being a light sentence, the teen could instead face up to 10 years in jail if found in violation of probation. With this in mind, authorities believe that Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, decided to flee from the United States earlier this month, after Couch allegedly failed to appear for a meeting with his probation officer.

The U.S. Marshals Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation had since been on the hunt for the mother and son fugitives. It is now being reported that Mexican authorities have detained the pair near Puerto Vallarta, a popular beach town for tourists. Mexican authorities will not confirm exactly where the two are being held, however. Couch and his mother, who was listed as a missing person despite authorities' belief that she was in fact aiding her son, are expected to be transferred over to the U.S. Marshals Service following their detainment.

Though the teen's disappearance lasted nearly all of the month of December, it seems that it was only a matter of time before he was caught again. And if the court system handles him differently this time, it seems as though karma will finally be catching up to him, too.