'Affluenza Teen' Ethan Couch Returns to Texas From Mexico

The fugitive was met by law enforcement officers after arriving on a commercial flight


Law enforcement officials in Texas tell PEOPLE Ethan Couch – the 18-year-old fugitive known as the “affluenza teen” – has returned to the United States and is back in police custody.

Police escorted Couch through Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport after the 18-year-old arrived Thursday morning on a commercial flight out of Mexico.

Couch spent the last few weeks in Mexico, where authorities allege he and his mother fled to in early December for possible probation violations.

On Tuesday, his Mexican attorney formally retracted Couch’s appeal against deportation.

According to officials, Couch was transported to the Lynn Ross Juvenile Detention Center in Fort Worth soon after his flight touched down on U.S. soil.

A month-long manhunt concluded when Couch and his mother Tonya were detained in late December in the resort town of Puerto Vallarta.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Couch was 16 when he killed four pedestrians in a 2013 drunk driving accident. He was spared jail time and sentenced to probation after his defense attorney successfully argued his client suffered from “affluenza” because of his wealthy upbringing.

The mother and son fled after potentially incriminating video footage was posted to Twitter, showing Ethan attending a party where drinking games were being played.

Couch’s 10-year probation sentence prohibits him from driving a car, doing drugs or drinking alcohol.

The U.S. Marshals Service tracked Couch and his mother to a Mexico apartment where one of them used a cell phone to call Domino’s Pizza.

Couch’s mother has been charged by Texas authorities with hindering the apprehension of her fugitive son and was released earlier this month on $75,000 bail.

The terms of her release call for Couch to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. She must also live at her older son’s home, a judge ruled.

Related Articles