Slain girl's father launches "Save AMW" campaign - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Slain girl's father launches "Save America's Most Wanted" campaign

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - FOX has announced the cancellation of the show "America's Most Wanted".

It says viewership is high, but the program is too expensive to produce.

The news comes as a shock to law enforcement and victims in South Florida who consider the show's host and creator, John Walsh, a superhero.

AMW has tracked down more than 1,151 fugitives since it went on the air in 1988.

FOX 29 photographer Jim Sitton knows the power and reach of the Saturday night show well. "For me personally, John Walsh and "America's Most Wanted" did something that nobody else on the planet could do. They put a national, international, global spotlight on the killer of my 6-year-old daughter."

Paul Michael Merhige is accused of opening fire in Sitton's Jupiter home on Thanksgiving night of 2009 killing four family members including Sitton's daughter, Makayla.

Merhige, then went into hiding.

When a motel owner in the Florida Keys saw a promo for AMW highlighting the case, she recognized Merhige as a guest in the motel and soon, US Marshals moved in and made the arrest.

It is why news of the show's cancellation brings Sitton to tears. "When I first heard it's being canceled, I thought, 'That's horrible!'"

And, it is why he's launched a Facebook campaign to get FOX to reconsider. In the one day since its creation the page already has hundreds of followers.

Many people, including Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, feel the show is invaluable. "It is a resource that is going to be missed by law enforcement, not only in Palm Beach County, but around the country."

Fox threatened to cancel the show in 1996 but because of the public outcry, it was kept on the air.

Sitton hopes to have the same impact.

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