Federal law enforcement officials on Friday offered a reward of $5,000 for information leading to the capture of Ethan Couch, the Texas teenager who became infamous in 2013 when he avoided jail time after killing four in a drunk driving incident.
Couch, now 18, made headlines two years ago after a psychologist hired by his defense team asked the court to be lenient with the teen because he suffered from "affluenza" — or the affliction of being too spoiled by affluent parents.
The court agreed with Couch's defense and sentenced him to 10 years of probation instead of the 20 years in prison that prosecutors had requested. The outcome caused widespread criticism.
As part of his probation, Couch is not allowed to drink or use drugs. But earlier this month, a Twitter user posted a video of a man who appears to be Couch playing beer pong with friends.
Shortly after the video was posted, Couch and his mother went missing without contacting the teen's probation officer. On Dec. 11, the U.S. Marshals issued an arrest warrant for Couch.
The federal arrest warrant for Couch means that any and all law enforcement agencies in the United States are encouraged to apprehend him — the teen is now officially a national fugitive.
Authorities announced on Monday they are searching for a black 2011 Ford F-150 pick-up truck with the with Texas license plate number BC-50945. The truck is suspected to belong to Tonya Couch, Ethan's mother.
If convicted of violating his parole, Couch could face up to 10 years behind bars.
The U.S. Marshals asked anyone with information on Couch's whereabouts to call (800) 336-0102.
Nicolás Medina Mora is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Nicolás Medina Mora at email@example.com.
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