'Affluenza' Teen Ethan Couch and Mother Threw 'Going Away Party' Before Fleeing to Mexico Resort: Report

Ethan Couch and his mother were detained at a popular vacation resort in Mexico

Photo: Jalisco St. Prosecutors Office

Ethan Couch, the Texas teenager known for his “affluenza defense” after he was convicted of killing four people in a 2013 drunk driving crash, has been found and detained near the Mexican resort city of Puerto Vallarta after he went missing earlier this month, PEOPLE has confirmed. And police say the teen and his mother had a “going away party” before fleeing the country.

Couch, 18, and his mother, Tonya Couch, were captured by Mexican authorities on Monday in the Pacific coast resort, which is popular with American vacationers, CNN reports.

District Attorney Sharen Wilson said at a news conference on Tuesday that the mother is expected to face a charge of hindering apprehension under Texas law. She added that, if Couch continues in juvenile court, he could face up to four months of confinement for the deadly crash.”

Officials gave little specifics about the arrest at Tuesday’s conference. But Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said at the conference that tips about a “going away party” before the teen and his mother fled affirmed authorities’ suspicions that their disappearance was “carefully planned and timed.”

“As we were trying to determine if this was premeditated, as we believed, a statement was made that [Couch and his mother] basically had a gathering before they left,” Anderson said, noting that the tipster “characterized it as a going away party.”

He added that the alleged party took place after a video surfaced of Couch allegedly playing beer pong.

After being detained in Mexico, Couch and his mother were handed over to immigration officials for deportation, according to the Associated Press and WFAA.

The teen is expected to be turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service. A spokesperson for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office tells PEOPLE that the two remain in Mexico.

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At the conference, Wilson noted that Couch is expected to appear at a hearing on Jan. 19 to transfer his juvenile probation to the adult system. She added that Texas authorities are “bound” by the teen’s 10-year probationary sentence he received by a juvenile court, but “that sentence can be revoked.”

“It is an anomaly of Texas law that if we revoke his juvenile sentence he would stay in a juvenile facility until his 19th birthday, which is April the 11th of next year, 2016. So if we proceed in the juvenile sentence, his maximum sentence that he will receive is four months of confinement.”

She added: “That, in my opinion, is not a sufficient punishment for the taking of four lives.” Wilson said authorities will request to transfer Couch’s probation to the adult court “and deal with him in the adult system.”

A worldwide search for the 18-year-old ensued after he and his mother disappeared following accusations that Couch violated the terms of his probation.

Terry Grisham, a spokesman for the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department previously told PEOPLE that he wasn’t sure if Couch would ever be apprehended.

Grisham added: “He could be anywhere in the world at this point.”

Couch was spared jail time in the drunk driving crash after his legal team convinced a court that Couch was unable to understand the weight of his own actions due to being coddled by his wealthy parents. He has since become known as the “affluenza” teen.

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