The FBI has increased from $1 million to $5 million its reward offered for information leading to agent Robert Levinson, who went missing from the Iranian resort of Kish Island in 2007, CBS News
"It is long past time for Bob to come home," FBI Director James Comey said in a statement announcing the reward increase.
The Associated Press
reported in 2013 that Levinson had been working on a "unapproved intelligence mission" for the CIA when he disappeared.
Levinson turns 67 on Tuesday. He retired from the FBI in 1998. His wife confirmed that he had been abroad working for the CIA covertly at the time he went missing.
He has not been heard from directly since 2007, but his family received anonymous email documents in 2010 that said he was arrested and held in detention in Iran. They later received photographs and a brief videotape, CBS said. Since then, there has been no more contact.
The FBI confirmed its reward increase in a statement Monday
, noting those with any information "for his location and his safe return to his family" were urged to share their tips at https://tips.fbi.gov.
The press release from the agency's Washington Field Office was published in Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Dari and Arabic — all languages used in the Middle East region.
Levinson's family, on its own website
, also issued a statement urging his return and cooperation from both the U.S. and Iran in resolving the case.
"Every year on this date we remind the world that Bob’s case is still not resolved and that this husband, father and grandfather is still not home where he belongs.
"But we, his family, have been reminded every single day of the past eight years because of the enormous hole in our lives that will only be filled when Bob is back with us. We need to see him, hear his voice, and hold him," the family said.
They also posted video and photographs received in which he is shown as a hostage, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, with a long gray beard, and holding a sign.
"To help the world remember this extraordinary human being, here is a link to the hostage video
we received in 2010 ... and photographs we received in 2011
... We have heard nothing since. We urge the governments of Iran and the United States to work together to resolve this case and send Bob home, so he can live the rest of his life quietly, surrounded by the family that loves him."
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