The FBI and U.S. Marshals are joining in on the hunt to locate Ethan Couch, the 18-year-old Texas teen who became famous for receiving probation in 2013 after he killed several people while drinking and driving in the Fort Worth area.
CNN reports that Ethan failed to show up to a scheduled meeting with his probation officer earlier this month, a condition of his the 10-year probation sentence he received after he killed four people in 2013 while under the influence of alcohol. During his trial, the teen’s attorneys argued that Ethan suffered from affluenza, a term that basically conveys that since he was wealthy and spoiled, his parents failed to set the proper limits on him. In turn, the 18-year-old was labeled the “affluenza teen.”
Tanya Couch, Ethan’s mother, is also missing. According to Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson, the wealthy mother has the means to completely disappear, and authorities believe mom and son have fled the country.
“They have the money. They have the ability to disappear, and I’m fearing that they have gone a long way and may even be out of the country.”
Anderson had a specific message for the family on Thursday, and with the backing of the FBI and the U.S. marshals, the sheriff feels it’s a just a matter of time before the teen is caught.
“You can run, but you’re always going to be looking over your shoulder. We’re not going to give up. We’re going to come after you. We’re going to find you, wherever you are.”
New York Daily News reports that Kevin McConnell, whose son Lucas was one of the teenagers injured by Ethan during a wild night of drinking of driving, was not at all surprised that the teen who allegedly suffers from “affluenza” ran away. Sarcastically, McConnell stated the following.
“I’m sure you can read the shock all over my face. No surprises at all.”
Like others, however, McConnell is hoping that Ethan will eventually get caught, and this time, get the punishment he should have had from the beginning.
“I do feel like accountability hasn’t been demonstrated yet. I would still like to have some accountability, because I need for my son Lucas to see that there are consequences for bad decisions.”
Yet, it seems as though Ethan hasn’t learned his lesson, at least yet. Earlier this month, surveillance video captured him reportedly playing beer pong with his friends, a direct violation of his probation. It was shortly after the video surfaced that Ethan failed to show up for his scheduled probation meeting.
Meanwhile, there is still a lot of outrage across the nation, not only because Ethan didn’t get a harsher sentence, but because was allowed back on the street again, potentially putting others in danger. The national president of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) spokesperson Colleen Sheehey-Church released a public statement expressing “outrage and disbelief” over the situation.
“Four people were hit and killed, and no one was held responsible. This is egregious. ‘Affluenza’ aside, Ethan Couch appears to show blatant disregard for the law, and he must be held accountable. The families impacted will never have their loved ones back; Ethan Couch must have consequences for his actions.”
After receiving a probation sentence in 2013, Anderson remembered thinking that something bad would come of the situation, and although he made his thoughts clear, it didn’t do much in convincing the judge to dole out a harsher sentence.
“I predicted two years ago that something bad was going to happen like this. I wasn’t surprised at all that he ran, particularly in light of the video that had surfaced … I had been expecting something like this for the last two years.”
Anyone with anyone information on the whereabouts of Ethan Couch and/or his mother are urged to contact 911 immediately.
[Photo Courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service via AP]