Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Ethan Couch
ABC News Screenshot

Fort Worth, Texas, authorities are beginning to wonder if Ethan Couch, the "affluenza" teen who was found guilty of drunken-driving charges in an incident that left four people dead in 2013, may have fled the country.

Couch, 18, missed a check-in with his parole officer earlier this month and has been missing ever since. A warrant was issued for his arrest Dec. 11, and authorities recently admitted that they have no idea where the teen and his mother, Tonya, may be.


Couch gained nationwide notoriety two years ago when, as part of his defense, his attorney claimed that Couch suffered from "affluenza"—an affliction of wealth in which the teen never faced the repercussions of his actions, according to 11 Alive. Couch's punishment for the fatal incident also drew national attention when he was given 10 years' juvenile probation and no jail time.

"We're working every angle we can work," Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson told the news station regarding Couch's disappearance. "I've got a bunch of my fugitive guys working on it."

Anderson added that if the state had a 10-most-wanted list, Couch would be No. 1, 11 Alive reports.

"He had a good amount of time to get a good head start," the sheriff said Wednesday. "And we all know what kind of resources this family has to get out of town. Get out of the country. Who knows?"


Couch reportedly was not wearing a GPS monitor, common for those given lengthy probation sentences, according to reports. Couch's Eagle Mountain Lake house, which he shared with his mother, is reportedly empty and has been for some time, 11 Alive reports.

Anderson told the news station that he believes that a video, which popped up on Twitter, showing the teen at a beer-bong party may have prompted Couch's disappearance, since his terms of probation forbid him from drinking.


"He's going to have to look over his shoulder the rest of his life," Anderson promised. "Anytime he gets anywhere, we could apprehend him; we're going to find him. And we're going to keep looking and we're not going to stop."

According to the news station, a hearing is set for next month to transfer Couch's case to adult court before he turns 19 in April. Couch has also been added to the national crime database.


Read more at 11 Alive

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