A desire for the comforts of home is apparently what led Mexican police to the doorstep of fugitive “affluenza” teen Ethan Couch and his mother: The pair reportedly used a cellphone to order from Domino’s Pizza, according to the New York Daily News.
The Texas teen gained national attention after a 2013 fatal drunken-driving crash that left four people dead and another paralyzed. During his trial, Couch’s lawyers argued that the teen suffered from an affliction of wealth in which he didn’t know limits because his wealthy lifestyle came with little punishment. The supposed disease was named “affluenza.” He was spared jail time and given 10 years’ probation.
Earlier this month Couch and his mother, Tonya Couch, went missing after video surfaced on Twitter showing the teen at a beer pong party, a violation of his probation agreement. Couch, 18, reportedly missed a meeting with his probation officer, and when police went to the Couches’ home, they found the residence empty.
On Monday night Couch, sporting dyed-black hair, a mustache and a goatee, was arrested in a shabby Puerto Vallarta condo, the Daily News reports.
Both Couch and his mother reportedly gave fake names to investigators and refused to provide identification or “legal migratory papers” once they were detained, according to the Daily News.
For weeks police had been searching for the privileged teen and his mother. According to the Daily News, upon arriving in Mexico, the Couches reportedly stayed at the swanky Los Tules resort, a bustling place with many American tourists. But the reported wealth that the family had thanks to Couch’s father’s successful sheet metal business didn’t last long in the high-priced resort area. A few weeks later, the Couches downgraded to an old condo in the 5 de Diciembre neighborhood, where Americans don’t usually travel, causing the Couches, who don’t speak Spanish, to stick out.
The Daily News notes that currently, Tonya Couch doesn’t face any charges, but prosecutors plan to file “hindering apprehension” charges when she returns to the U.S. The Couches are expected to arrive in Houston Wednesday evening.
“They had planned to disappear,” Tarrant County, Texas, Sheriff Dee Anderson said during a media briefing Tuesday. “They even had something that was almost akin to a going-away party before leaving town.”
“Tarrant County District Attorney Sharen Wilson hopes to have Couch’s case transferred from juvenile to adult court. If this happens, a future probation violation could see him face up to 10 years for each death in the 2013 crash,” the Daily News reports.
If Ethan Couch’s case is not transferred to adult court, he will serve his sentence in a juvenile facility until he turns 19 in April.