Ethan Couch, the Burleson, Texas, teen missing since December 11 after skipping a scheduled probation meeting, may be traveling with his mother in a black Ford pickup truck.
The Dallas Morning News reports that 18-year-old Ethan, who went missing after ditching his required probation meeting, may be hiding out with his mother, Tonya Couch, 48, and traveling with her in her Ford pickup truck. Authorities are now asking the public for assistance in finding the teen fugitive and his mother. The truck, registered to Tonya Couch, is a Ford F150 Harley Davidson edition, with the license plate number BC50945.
Authorities stated that there is damage to the truck, a tear on the right side of the passenger panel. The truck also has 23-inch chrome wheels.
“We can’t even prove that they’re together, we certainly believe that they’re together. If she helped him in any way, we’re going to file criminal charges against her.”
The U.S. Marshals and the FBI have joined the manhunt for the teen, who’s serving a 10-year probation after killing four people in a 2013 DUI incident. Part of Ethan’s probation obligation is to check in with his probation officer once a month. Yet, when a video surfaced of the teen playing beer pong with friends, he immediately disappeared, more than likely out of fear for violating his probation by drinking alcohol.
Hannah Hardee, 21, of Tarrant County, informed authorities that she found the video on Twitter and re-tweeted it after a friend told her that the blonde teen in a black shirt was indeed Ethan Couch. When asked why she reposted the video, Hardee said that she was tired of Ethan and his friends not taking his probation seriously.
“It just was making me mad that they weren’t taking any of this seriously, and after seeing the interviews with the victims’ families and stuff, it just, it really gets to me.”
Attorney Sharen Wilson of the Tarrant County District explained that they aren’t looking for Ethan because of the video, but instead because juveniles on probation aren’t allowed to leave the county.
“The problem for him on the juvenile probation is that he’s not here. Juveniles have to ask for permission to leave the county, and we believe he’s not in the county.”
Meanwhile, the family of the victims are being forced to relive the nightmare of June 15, 2013, the night when Ethan, drunk and high on valium, plunged his car into several people on the side of the road, near Fort Worth.
Prior to the accident, Ethan, 16 at the time, stole two cases of beer from a local WalMart. He then got into his father’s Ford F-350 pickup truck and sped down a rural road with seven passengers riding along.
Driver Breanna Mitchell, 24, was on the side of the road after her SUV broke down. While three people tried to assist her, Ethan sped directly into one of the helper’s cars, parked on the side of the road, resulting in the car spinning out into the road and hitting an oncoming Volkswagen Beetle.
Four people were killed in the accident, including Mitchell, Hollie Boyles, 52, Shelby Boyles, 21, and a youth minister, Brian Jennings, 41.Ethan’s truck flipped over and hit a tree, but everyone in the truck survived.
One of the passengers in the Beetle, Sergio Molina, 17, survived the accident but is now paralyzed with severe brain damage. Another victim, Lucas McConnell, only 12 at the time, was trapped inside a car after Ethan’s truck plowed into him. The young teen survived, but was badly bruised and bleeding.
Despite the severity of the accident, Ethan Couch only received a 10-year probation sentence, without any jail time. Anyone with any information on his whereabouts should call 911 immediately.
[Photo Courtesy of U.S. Marshals Service via AP]