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FBI director pledges to stay on the Robert Levinson case after family announces his death

WASHINGTON (JTA) — FBI Director Christopher Wray said the agency would continue to seek answers about the fate of Robert Levinson, the Jewish former FBI agent who went missing 13 years ago in Iran and whose family now believes to be dead.

“We’re going to keep working doggedly to determine the circumstances surrounding Bob’s abduction and his time in captivity, to find the answers we all want and that the Levinsons deserve,” Wray said in an email to FBI staff obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.

Wray also said that he was among the officials who told the family that Levinson was likely dead.

“It pained me to deliver that news, but I believe that we owed Bob’s family a thorough and candid presentation of the information that we’ve collected,” Wray wrote.

The family made the announcement on Wednesday. President Donald Trump has said that he “won’t accept that he’s dead.”

Levinson, of Coral Springs, Florida, also was a private investigator and a part-time consultant for the CIA. He was 58 years old when he disappeared in 2007 on Iran’s Kish Island during what was first described as a work trip for private firms but later was revealed as a rogue CIA operation.