TAMARAC (CBSMiami) – Two days after the FBI announced that they were offering a one million dollar reward for information leading to the recovery of a Coral Springs man, a group of retired agents have stepped forward to help the man’s children.
On Thursday, the Society of Former Special Agents awarded $10,000 in scholarships to two of Robert Levinson’s youngest children; the 18-year old and 22-year old will receive $5,000 each, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
“I always knew we would get Bob home, I didn’t know it would take this much time,’ said wife Christine Levinson. “We still don’t know where he is or who has taken him but we keep working toward the goal of getting him home.”
“It is known the suffering my father is enduring. The urgency is there,” said David Levinson, one of Bob Levinson’s children.
Samantha Levinson who is 22 years old, is about to graduate from Florida State. She said she is grateful to the FBI for their continued support and the monetary grant to further her education.
“Everything I do I channel my dad. I know he’d be proud of me,” she said.
Doug Levinson who was only 13 when his father disappeared also received a $5000 grant.
“I’ve always said my family is the strongest family I know. We would not be getting through this without each other.”
Levinson, a former FBI agent, disappeared from Kish Island, Iran on March 9, 2007. Levinson, working as a private investigator, traveled to Iran in March 2007 to investigate reports of cigarette smuggling. Despite a lengthy investigation, however, the U.S. government has no evidence of who is holding the 63-year-old father of seven.
In November 2010, Levinson’s family received a hostage video. On it, a haggard looking Levinson pleaded with the U.S. government to meet the demands of the people holding him, whom he did not identify.
The prevailing U.S. government theory had been that Levinson was arrested by Iranian intelligence officials to be interrogated and used as a bargaining chip in negotiations with Washington. But as every lead fizzled and Iran repeatedly denied any involvement in his disappearance, many in the U.S. government believed Levinson was probably dead.
The video prompted Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to announce publicly in March 2011 that Levinson was alive and urged the Iranians to help find him.
The video was accompanied by a demand that the U.S. release prisoners, but officials said the United States is not holding anyone matching the names on the list. It’s possible some of them may have been held by the Pakistani government at one point, but officials say the demand doesn’t offer any indication of who might be holding Levinson.
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