Family of American missing in Iran still waiting

NEW YORK — The relatives of a former FBI agent who disappeared in Iran almost nine years ago said Monday they're happy for the families of prisoners released from Iranian custody over the weekend but wished government officials had warned them he would not be among them.

See Full Article

"We had to learn it from the TV ourselves, and that's very disappointing and heartbreaking," said Robert Levinson's wife, Christine.

Robert Levinson disappeared from an Iranian resort on March 9, 2007, while in the country on an unauthorized mission for the CIA. It's unclear where he is; Iranian officials have said they don't know but Levinson's family does not believe them.

His son, Dan Levinson, told The Associated Press that it felt like "once again, he's been left behind" and that the U.S. can't give up on bringing his father back.

Iran released four American prisoners over the weekend in exchange for the U.S. pardoning or dropping charges against seven Iranians. A fifth American was also released separately.

In discussing the release, President Barack Obama said the U.S. would continue working to find Levinson. But when asked by reporters whether Levinson was still alive, Secretary of State John Kerry said, "We have no idea."

Levinson's family insists he is still alive, even with health issues including diabetes, gout and high blood pressure. They last got some visual record of him in video and photos that were sent about five years ago.

"The people who are working on the case directly, they have told us there is no evidence to suggest my dad is not alive," Dan Levinson said.

"We're not going to give up because obviously we're doing everything we can," he said. "We need to make sure his country is doing the same."

The family plans to mark Levinson's upcoming birthday, which falls on March 10 — the day after the anniversary of his disappearance. It's part of the way they've tried to cope with his absence.

"We talk about him all the time," Christine Levinson said.

They've also tried to make his presence real for the three grandchildren he's never met, teaching them a song Levinson came up with when his children were small.

"If you talk to the grandchildren, they all know how to sing the baby song," she said.

Levinson's family worries about what Levinson's ordeal has done to a man who loved making friends and meeting people.

"I hope that he hasn't lost hope," Christine Levinson said.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Britain slams 'absurd' Russian denials of Skripal poisoning

    World News CTV News
    BRUSSELS - British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Monday described Russian claims that it is not responsible for the poisoning of a former spy as absurd, and said the U.K. has the full backing of its European partners. Source
  • Search for missing Montreal boy continues, one week after his disappearance

    Canada News CTV News
    Montreal police are considering using divers to search the Riviere des Prairies to find Ariel Jeffrey Kouakou if tests conducted on Sunday show the river is safe. It's been a week since the 10-year-old boy left his family's home and disappeared while walking to a friend's house. Source
  • Putin gains massive mandate for nationalist policies

    World News CTV News
    MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin won a fourth presidential term with nearly 77 per cent of the vote -- his highest score ever and a massive mandate to pursue his nationalist, assertive policies for another six years in power. Source
  • Another explosion injures 2 in Austin, but cause unclear

    World News CBC News
    Two people were injured in another explosion in Texas' capital, and police weren't saying if it was caused by a package bomb like the three that detonated earlier this month elsewhere in the city. The latest blast occurred around 8:30 p.m. Source
  • Another explosion injures 2 in Austin

    World News CTV News
    AUSTIN, Texas -- At least two people were injured in another explosion in Texas' capital Sunday night, after three package bombs detonated earlier this month in other parts of the city and killed two people and injured two others. Source
  • Boy shoots sister in video game controller dispute: police

    World News CTV News
    Authorities in Mississippi say a 9-year-old boy has shot his 13-year-old sister in the head and wounded her after an argument over a video game controller. Monroe County Sheriff Cecil Cantrell told local news outlets that the girl wouldn't give up the video game controller when her brother wanted it on Saturday. Source
  • Volunteers won't give up search for boy, 3, swept away in Ontario river

    Canada News CTV News
    Nearly one month after a little boy was swept away in an Ontario river, dozens of volunteers continue to search for him. Kaden Young, 3, was ripped from his mother’s arms after her minivan ended up in the swollen Grand River, near Orangeville, Ont. Source
  • Lawyer charges grieving family thousands for time spent responding to complaint against him

    Canada News CBC News
    A grieving daughter was blindsided when the lawyer hired to settle her father's estate charged thousands of dollars for time he spent responding to a complaint the family filed against him. But lawyers are not allowed to bill for hours spent responding to complaints, according to the Law Society of Ontario. Source
  • 2018 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies

    Canada News CBC News
    2018 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremonies LIVE0:00 Nearly 2,000 athletes from the circumpolar north have gathered in Hay River, Northwest Territories, for the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Arctic Winter Games Source
  • B.C. teachers' union to ask for higher salaries to help with shortages

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER -- The union representing British Columbia teachers will look to boost salaries, when their contract negotiations open later this year. B.C. Teachers' Federation president Glen Hansman told a crowd at the union's annual general meeting Saturday night that the province's low starting salaries mean that B.C. Source