The FBI is offering a huge reward for information leading to the safe return of a former investigator turned private detective on the anniversary of his disappearance.
Bob Levinson was working as a private detective investigating a cigarette smuggling ring in Kish Island, Iran. He disappeared on 9th March 2007, just a day after arriving.
Bob’s family suffered the unimaginable trauma of being sent a video of him being held in captivity three years later in 2010.
He had been an FBI agent of 22 years before retiring in 1988 to become a private detective.
The FBI, which is responsible for investigating crimes on US citizens abroad, announced the $1 million reward on the week of the fifth anniversary of Bob’s disappearance. The FBI said it had been working to locate Bob since his disappearance.
It’s certainly heartening to read just how much the FBI cares for and supports its former agents – not only offering a $1 million reward – but Assistant Director in charge of the Washington Field Office James W McJunkin talks warmly of Bob as being part of a family. He said: “On the fifth anniversary of Bob’s disappearance, the FBI continues to follow every lead into his abduction and captivity.
“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.”
“Though he is retired from the FBI, Bob remains a member of the FBI family to this day,” said Director Robert S. Mueller, “and his family is our family. Like all families, we stand together in good times and in times of adversity. Today, we stand together to reaffirm our commitment to Bob Levinson.”
The timing of the announcement is doubly poignant. Bob – a father of seven and grandfather of two – celebrated his 64th birthday on March 10th
Bob’s wife Christine commented: “I am very grateful that the FBI has offered this reward,” Our family believes the only way of resolving this issue successfully is with the FBI’s help. 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.”
I’m sure I speak on behalf of all private detectives when I say I hope Bob returns home safely and can finally be reunited with his family.