A $1,000,000 reward has been issued by the FBI for any information that would directly lead to the safe return of Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent, who has been missing since 2007. He disappeared in Iran. Friday marks the five-year anniversary of Levinson’s disappearance.
“To the members of the Levinson family, we in the FBI share in your heartache. But we also share in your sense of hope — hope for Bob’s safety, his health, and his homecoming,” Robert Mueller, the director of the FBI, said during a press conference on Tuesday, according to the Huffington Post.
“We in the FBI are working every day to bring your husband, father and grandfather back home to you,” Mueller added. “Bob was a special agent of the FBI for 22 years and that means something to each and every one of us in the Bureau. It means something to the citizens we serve.”
The wife of Levinson, Christine, said, “there are no words to describe the nightmare that my family and I have been living every day. I never imagined that we would still be waiting for Bob to come home five years later.”
Levinson retired from the FBI back in 1998 following 22 years of service. He worked as a Special Agent with the agency and will turn 64 on March 10. Levinson traveled to Kish Island, Iran in March of 2007 while working as a private investigator. He traveled to Iran to investigate a cigarette smuggling operation. Levinson disappeared on March 9, 2007. His alleged captors sent a video of Levinson in captivity back in 2010 to his family.
The Society of Former Special Agents for the FBI announced this week that they would be giving the two youngest Levinson children each $5,000 to aid in their college education.
“Bob is part of the FBI family,” said Brad Benson, the president of the society. “We are trying to help carry out what he would be doing for his children if he were home. We also want to commend and support the fact that Bob’s family has pulled together so heroically.”
A publicity campaign is being launched in southwest Asia, which is where the FBI believes Levinson is being held captive by an unidentified group. Billboards, flyers and radio messages will be used by the FBI to get the message out about Levinson.
“The FBI continues to follow every lead into his abduction and captivity,” James McJunkin, the assistant director of the FBI Washington Field Office, said. “We are committed to bringing Bob home safely to his family. We hope this reward will encourage anyone with information, no matter how insignificant they may think it is, to come forward. It may be the clue that we need to locate Bob.”
“Our family believes the only way of resolving this issue successfully is with the FBI’s help,” said Christine Levinson. “It has been an extremely difficult time for my family. We all thought Bob would be home by now. But five years have passed, and we still don’t know why he’s being held, who has him or where he is. We’re never going to give up. Our goal is to get Bob home. We miss him every single day.”