Five years after a retired FBI agent disappeared while on a trip to Iran, the head of the U.S. law enforcement agency offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the safe return of Bob Levinson.
“Though he is retired from the FBI, Bob remains a member of the FBI family to this day,” FBI director Robert Mueller said at a press conference on the steps of the agency’s Washington headquarters.
“His family is our family,” Mueller said, as he was joined by Levinson’s wife and flanked by dozens of agents.
“We in the FBI will continue to do all that we can to ensure Bob’s safe return to Christine and their family, to his FBI family, and to the country that he has served so well and so diligently for 28 years.”
Levinson was working as a private investigator when he flew to Kish Island, Iran, on March 8, 2007 and disappeared the following day. A 54-second proof-of-life video was sent to his family in 2010 in which Levinson appeared weary and thin but unharmed.
U.S. officials believe Levinson is being held by a group in southwest Asia -- likely in the border areas of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan -- and is launching a publicity campaign there using billboards, radio messages and flyers to publicize the reward.
“We’re never going to give up,” said Christine Levinson, his wife of 37 years. “Our goal is to get Bob home. We miss him every single day.”
Levinson, who marks his 64th birthday on Saturday, has seven children and two grandchildren and his lengthy absence has weighed heavily on the family.
“Our youngest son is about to graduate from high school,” Christine Levinson said. “He was in middle school when his father disappeared.”