CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) — It’s been 10 years since Bob Levinson’s family and friends laid eyes on him.
On such a somber, painful day, his son, Dan, had a simple thought.
“Today I woke up thinking I just want to get this day over with,” he said.
But this dutiful son, who has worked tirelessly to uncover information about his father’s whereabouts, knows that on a day like this, it’s important to capture media attention and generate headlines demanding his father’s release.
Levinson disappeared in Iran while working for the CIA. Dan Levinson lamented the lack of aggressiveness by the Obama Administration to get his dad home.
“I think that President Obama was not willing to put pressure on the Iranians,” Dan said. “They repeatedly asked for the Iranians’ help but they never threatened repercussions for their lack of cooperation.”
Dan Levinson believes the former president did not want anything to intrude on the nuclear deal with Iran. Now, the Levinson family is hoping to meet with President Trump in the coming days and is optimistic the new president might be able to do what two previous administrations could not — bring his father home.
“I think (Trump’s) willing to put the pressure on Iran and pull out all the stops that they’re pressured to finally review the case,” Dan Levinson said.
“We need the United States government to meet with them and find out what’s necessary to get Bob home,” said Levinson’s wife, Christine. “I’m hoping that the Trump administration will be able to do that.”
The White House press secretary spoke about that Thursday.
“The Trump administration remains unwavering in our commitment to locate Mr. Levinson and bring him home,” said Sean Spicer. “The Levinson family has suffered far too long and we will not rest until his case is resolved.”
The Levinson family is also highlighting a report from the UN that found Iran responsible for detaining Levinson and calling on the Iranians to release him immediately. The Levinson’s believe there might be some international leverage gained from the UN investigation.
“It’s an embarrassment for them,” he said. “I think they’re not gonna let this slip. We’re going to keep pressuring them with this UN report.”
Ken Parkerson is a former FBI agent and a longtime friend and colleague of Levinson’s. He attended a private ceremony at FBI offices in Miramar Thursday to solemnly mark the occasion. He and others wore a yellow pin with the word “Taken” on it, as well as Bob’s name and the date he disappeared.
“Every citizen in the United States needs to know Bob Levinson’s name,” Parkerson said, urging people to call their legislators and demand action from federal government officials. “We’re not gonna give up. This is something that we’re very passionate about and we’ll never stop until we know where Bob is.”
The case has the attention of Florida Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio. Nelson spoke on the Senate floor Thursday urging Iran to share information on where Levinson is.
“Iran is responsible for returning Bob to his family,” Nelson told the Senate. “If Iranian officials don’t have Bob then they sure know where to find him.”
Levinson disappeared while working as a private investigator and a consultant for the CIA. Several years ago, his family received video and pictures of Levinson in captivity, but not a word since. His family believes Levinson is holding on in hopes of being reunited with his loved ones.
“He’s just sitting there waiting to get home to a wife of 42 years, seven kids and a growing number of grandchildren, so he has this motivation to stay alive and wait it out until he gets returned home to us,” Dan Levinson said.
“Bob is the kind of person who knows what’s waiting for him at home and will do his best to stay alive so that he can come home and enjoy the rest of his life with his family,” Christine Levinson said.
The FBI is offering a $5 million reward for information that leads to Levinson’s location and safe release. At this point, Levinson is the longest held civilian in American history and his family is desperate to get him home.
Friday will be Bob Levinson’s 69th birthday.