Wife Seeks Husband Who Vanished in Iran

Bob Levinson

Bob Levinson went missing in Iran more than a year ago. Courtesy HelpBobLevinson.com hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy HelpBobLevinson.com

Robert Levinson, a retired FBI agent working for a private security firm, was tracking a case when he made plans to fly to the Iranian resort island of Kish. On March 9, 2007, Levinson checked out of his hotel in Iran and climbed into a cab. He hasn't been seen since.

This week his family is marking his 60th birthday with a rally in their hometown of Coral Springs, Fla.

"We still do not have any information," says his wife, Christine Levinson. Despite a trip to Iran three months ago to beg the Iranian government for answers, she and her children remain in the dark. "They promised in the name of their religion to continue the search," she says. "But I've heard nothing."

Levinson says that during her visit she spoke to several representatives of the Iranian government, including an official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a high-level police officer. "They expressed sympathy," she says, "but said they had no information."

Levinson describes her visit to Kish. "I saw the hotel registry," she says. "I saw that he'd checked in and checked out." Levinson says she knows the entry was made in his handwriting. Her husband, she says, has a very distinctive signature.

Levinson says she has hired a lawyer in order to make it clear to the Iranian government that she's doing everything she can to find her husband. The United States does not have a formal relationship with Iran, so the State Department cannot work directly with officials there. Switzerland, as with other diplomatic business between the two countries, has been acting as an intermediary.

"The Swiss have been very helpful," Levinson says. "They've kept pressure on the Iranians to get me information on my husband."

Levinson isn't sure if her husband was doing clandestine work for the U.S. government. "I have no information," she says. "I spoke to my husband March 8."

She says that when he traveled abroad he'd rarely let more than 24 hours pass without being in touch.

"I heard from him every day in Dubai," she says. "I thought he'd call me from London. Unfortunately, that didn't happen."

One of the last people to see Levinson was an Iranian informant, an admitted killer, who has not yet been ruled out as being involved in Mr. Levinson's disappearance.

"I don't know what happened over there," Christine Levinson says. What she does know is that the informant and her husband met and talked. She knows that the informant was picked up by Iranian authorities to look at his papers. She knows that when the informant returned to the hotel, her husband was no longer there. She knows that the informant thinks her husband was picked up by authorities.

Life has to go on. Christine Levinson says she using an inheritance to support herself while she looks for her husband. Meanwhile, she urges anyone who might know anything about Robert Levinson or who has expertise in the region to contact the family through Helpboblevinson.com.

"Anybody who can help me, I would hope they would get in touch with me," she says. "Hopefully, somebody will have an answer about where my husband is."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.