Broward News

Robert Levinson, Broward Man Who Disappeared in 2007, Hostage Photos Released

Robert Levinson, a Coral Springs private detective, disappeared in March of 2007 while visiting Kish Island in Iran while researching a cigarette-smuggling case.

In March of 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the U.S. State Department had received indications that Levinson was being held somewhere in southwest Asia, implying that he might be in the hands of a terrorist group somewhere in Pakistan or Afghanistan .

Levinson's family received disturbing photos via an anonymous email in 2011. Those photos are being seen for the first time by the public.

The photos show Levinson with wild gray hair and a long unkept beard, wearing an orange jumpsuit not unlike those worn by detainees at Guantanamo Bay.

In each of the photos, Levinson is holding a different sign with a different message.

One says, "I am here in Guantanamo. Do you know where it is?

Another one reads, "This is the result of 30 years serving for USA."

Three other signs have more cryptic messages: "Help me," and "Why you can not help me," and another that reads, "4th year... You can't or you don't want....?"

With the release of the photos comes word that the U.S. government believes Iran to have a hand in the kidnapping.

The Iranian government has denied knowing anything about Levinson's disappearance on numerous occasions.

Based on a video sent along with the photos, U.S. authorities believe professionals, such as Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security, are behind the kidnapping.

Levinson's wife, Christine, doesn't believe the U.S. government has done enough to put pressure on Iran to release her husband. 

She's met with President Obama and counterterrorism czar John Brennan, who pledged to do everything they could to free her husband. But Levinson has been missing for nearly six years now.

"As we near the sixth anniversary of his disappearance, the FBI remains committed to bringing Bob home safely to his family," FBI spokeswoman Jacqueline Maguire said in a statement.

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph