The mission of America's Most Wanted is to help law enforcement find fugitives. But occasionally, the show is approached by law enforcement to help solve a mystery. When a secret witness and a talented sketch artist collaborated to create a new sketch of a suspect, eight years after a gruesome crime, investigators in South Carolina came to us. This was shot entirely as a news story. Through the generosity of motorcyclists in North Carolina, and bike shops in South Carolina and Maryland, we were able to put together this dramatic story on a shoe string budget.
On a week long trip to the San Francisco Bay Area, I produced on five stories in all. The most in depth was on the kidnapping of Sierra LaMar who remains missing, to this day. This was a difficult subject matter that went far beyond the suffering of her family. Sierra's father had a dark past, and her mother was being criticized for not being emotional enough. In a short matter of time, through consultation with crime experts, investigators and those familiar with the family, I provided our executive producer and host John Walsh with the information he needed to decide how tough he was going to be on Sierra's father. To this day, no members of Sierra's family are suspects in her disappearance.
In December 2011, a cold call to a contact with the U.S. Marshals in Las Vegas led me to the case of Otis Holland. After phone calls with nearly a dozen of Holland's ex-girlfriends and other members of his church, I was led to Ava. Ava was one of Holland's alleged teen victims. After hours conversation, she agreed to talk to us in silhouette. Holland was captured five days after her story aired.