'Affluenza Teen' Was Caught Through Pizza Order

Ethan Couch, mom will be flown back to US Wednesday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 30, 2015 5:21 AM CST
Updated Dec 30, 2015 7:22 AM CST
This undated photo provided by the Jalisco state prosecutor’s office shows Tonya Couch.   (Courtesy of Jalisco state prosecutor’s office)
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(Newser) – Ethan Couch dyed his hair black while on the run, but his cunning attempts to evade authorities apparently didn't include getting rid of his phone. According to Mexican authorities, the Texas teenager and his mother, Tonya Couch, were arrested in Puerto Vallarta after one of them used their phone to order pizza from Domino's, the Guardian reports. Authorities tipped off to the phone's location by the US Marshals Service traced the call to a condo complex, where a tour operator told them the Couches had just moved out. Police say they were spotted during a surveillance operation Monday and were taken into custody after behaving evasively and failing to provide IDs to investigators, the AP reports.

The Couches were arrested in an ordinary neighborhood in the Mexican city, where residents tell WFAA they noticed the arrival of the American teenager, who didn't speak Spanish and ate his meals in a corner store. The "affluenza" teen and his mother—who will be charged with "hindering an apprehension"—are still in Mexico, where officials tell the AP that they entered the country improperly and will be returned to the US on a commercial flight Wednesday. Couch was on probation for killing four people while drunk and speeding in 2013, and despite having skipped the country, he is expected to spend no more than 120 days in jail. A lawyer for a man whose wife and daughter were killed in the 2013 crash says he's glad Tonya Couch will face justice. "Everybody had pretty much said Ethan is a product of very bad parenting," he tells the Dallas Morning News. "It appears at least one of those parents is going to be held criminally accountable for that." (Read more Ethan Couch stories.)

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