America's Most Wanted returned to television in March with a Fox reboot that boasted new technology, new "most wanted" fugitives, and a new host with journalist Elizabeth Vargas. Now, less than a month after the series premiered and only four days after their case was featured in an episode of America's Most Wanted, two fugitives who had been on the run for years have been arrested.
Alison Gracey and Christopher Jones, both British citizens, were arrested in Madrid four days after America's Most Wanted highlighted their case (and their projected appearances after years eluding authorities). The case against Gracey and Jones goes back to December 18, 2011 in Florida when a boat owned by the two, called the "Get Wet," was taken for a scuba dive expedition, but the boat capsized and sank in around two minutes after it began taking on water.
Although the captain was able to rescue one of two passengers who were unaccounted for, 36-year-old Aimee Rhoads was pinned underwater and drowned before she could be pulled to the surface. Following an investigation, it was revealed that Alison Gracey and Christopher Jones had been informed multiple times about the Get Wet's safety issues and did not make any repairs before Rhoads and the rest of her group took the boat out, and Rhoads died.
Alison Gracey and Christopher Jones subsequently shut down their business in Florida and fled to St. Maarten, where they were arrested in June of 2015 by Dutch authorities, only to flee again when released on bail and were last seen in April 2017 in France... until their recent arrest in Madrid, only four days after the America's Most Wanted episode aired.
Although it's not confirmed that America's Most Wanted viewers played a part in the arrest of the fugitives after years on the run, the show does offer a tip line and website where tips can be submitted for viewers who (like on another show) have any information about the featured cases. The episode did feature digital representations of what Alison Gracey and Christopher Jones could look like in 2021 after not being identified for years. Take a look at the results of the age progression technology:
America's Most Wanted premiered back in 1988 and has since helped captured more than 1100 criminals, including 17 that were on the real FBI's Ten Most Wanted list, as well as reunited 43 missing children with their families. That said, the original Fox run of America's Most Wanted was cancelled back in 2011 after a then record-setting 24 seasons, and only returned to Fox in March 2021.
John Walsh hosted the series from 1988-2011, but ABC News anchor Elizabeth Vargas took on hosting duties for the updated 2021 revival. Walsh nevertheless only had good things to say about the return of the series, saying that he was "excited" to hear America's Most Wanted was coming back and that he did "support its return."