WASHINGTON, DC (February 13, 2012) – Lifetime and America’s Most Wanted have led to the capture of seven people wanted for such crimes as murder and sexual abuse of a minor. Four of these captures occurred over a five day span during the week of January 23rd.
“Our Lifetime viewers are on a roll with these captures – six in less than two weeks, including ones in Mexico and Belize! It just goes to show that our reach goes beyond the United States and our fans deserve a lot of the credit for everything they do to help us,” said Walsh.
Regarding America’s Most Wanted’s latest capture, on Tuesday, February 7, Jeanifer Segrest, wanted by authorities for Child Enticing and Child Molestation, was arrested by members of the U.S. Marshals Service, Port Wentworth Police and Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police in Port Wentworth, Georgia, after a Lifetime viewer called the show’s hotline with information on Segrest’s location. Footage from the capture will be featured in the February 24th special on sex trafficking.
On Friday, January 27th, 25 year-old gang member Esteban Ramos-Cruz was taken into custody in Springfield, Massachusetts. An FBI fugitive on the run since May 2011, he was wanted in Buffalo, New York, after being indicted for murder in aid of racketeering in connection with murder; use, carry and discharge of a firearm during a crime of violence; possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence; possession of firearms in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime; and narcotics conspiracy. Following America’s Most Wanted’s profile of Ramos-Cruz on January 6th, the FBI in Buffalo received an anonymous tip from a Lifetime viewer and he was apprehended by members of the FBI’s Western Massachusetts Gang Task Force, which is composed of the Massachusetts State Police, DEA, Hampden County Sheriff, and police from Springfield, Lee, Chicopee, and Pittsfield, Massachusetts, along with the U.S. Marshals.
Another anonymous tip from a Lifetime viewer led authorities to Belize, where last Wednesday, January 25th, they arrested 29 year-old Larene Austin for allegedly killing her partner in Los Angeles in June 2010. Austin, whose case was profiled on America’s Most Wanted on December 23rd, 2011, was wanted for her involvement in the brutal murder of her former girlfriend, Lanell Barstock, with whom she was having a discrete affair. Wrought with jealousy, Austin reportedly shot Barstock in the head after the two broke up and then attempted to implicate Barstock’s boyfriend in the crime before fleeing for Central America.
Also captured on January 25th was Las Vegas pastor Otis Holland, who was wanted for sexual abuse of a minor. The 55 year-old Holland is accused of molesting four girls between the ages of 13 and 16 years-old and had been on the run since missing a July 2011 court hearing in Nevada. But an anonymous tip to the America’s Most Wanted hotline less than a week after he was profiled on the January 20th telecast of the program led United States Marshals to Tijuana, Mexico, where they say Holland was hiding out at a local church. The State Preventive Police of Baja Mexico accompanied U.S. Marshals to arrest Holland and he was promptly led back across the border into San Diego. “He was captured without incident,” said Deputy U.S. Marshal, Omar Castillo. “Holland is being held in San Diego County jail, and should be arraigned in the next few days.” U.S. Marshal Felix Serrano of Las Vegas said Holland had been staying in Tijuana for at least the past month. “We could not have done this so quickly without America’s Most Wanted’s help,” said Serrano.
22 year-old Reggie Boston was wanted in connection with the May 15, 2010, murder of a man in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where four friends’ night on the town turned tragic after an alleged shooting with Boston at a downtown bar that left one man dead and two others injured. The prime suspect in the murder and attempted murder, Boston fled Milwaukee. But after America’s Most Wanted profiled his case on Lifetime on January 6, the pressure became too much for him and on the morning of Monday, January 23, 2012, he peacefully surrendered himself to the Richmond, Indiana, Police Department -- six hours outside of Milwaukee.
America’s Most Wanted’s first captures since its return to television on Lifetime were Antonio Barnes and Earl Jackson, both alleged to be involved in a 2009 Washington, DC, shootout that killed two people, including a 15 year-old boy, and injured five others. They were arrested on January 14th after their case was also featured on January 6th.
Since its 1988 premiere America’s Most Wanted has become one of the most important programs on television, having played a major role in the capture of more than 1,100 fugitives in the U.S. and 30 countries, including 17 on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List, and the rescue of 61 children and missing persons during the program’s history. Aside from its landmark status in the annals of television as a leader in using the medium to apprehend the world’s most dangerous criminals, the series also has shaped legislation and the national dialogue on crime fighting, and received numerous honors for its work. The influential series has helped lead to arrests in major unsolved crimes, such as the missing Elizabeth Smart case and the murder of Hollywood publicist Ronni Chasen.
Last September, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented Walsh with its prestigious Governors Award, which “salutes an individual, company or organization that has made a substantial impact and demonstrated the extraordinary use of television.” More information on America’s Most Wanted can be found at www.amw.com. Become a fan of America’s Most Wanted on Facebook at www.facebook.com/1800crimetv.
America’s Most Wanted is produced by Walsh Productions and distributed by Twentieth Television, Inc., with Walsh serving as executive producer, along with Rob Sharenow, Gena McCarthy, Abigail Harvey and Jim Rapsas of Lifetime.