The family of a retired FBI agent from Coral Springs who vanished in Iran nearly five years ago pleaded for his freedom and released footage of him in captivity Friday.
In a video posted to their website, the family of 63-year-old Robert Levinson show footage of a proof of life video they received in November 2010 and reach out to his unidentified captors.
"Please tell us your demands so we can work together to bring my father home safely," says Levinson's son David, seated beside his mother, Christine.
Levinson was last seen on Iran’s Kish Island on March 8, 2007 while investigating cigarette smuggling for a client of his private security firm.
In the nearly five years that Levinson has been missing, the U.S. government has never had solid intelligence about what happened to him. It was believed that Levinson was being held in a secret jail in Iran, though the country's officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in his disappearance.
In the family plea, David Levinson appeals directly to the kidnappers.
"We are not part of any government and we are not experts on the region," David Levinson says. "No one can help us but you. Please help us."
The proof of life video released Friday contains clues Levinson may be in Pakistan, and investigators said it was routed through an Internet address in Pakistan. Photos released with the video had hints that he may be in Afghanistan.
In the hostage video, Levinson pleaded with the U.S. government to meet the demands of the people holding him, whom he did not identify.
"Please help me get home...33 years of service to the United States deserves something, please help me," he says.
The 54-second hostage video showed Levinson looking haggard but unharmed, sitting in front of what appeared to be a concrete wall. He had lost considerable weight, particularly in his face, and his white shirt hung off him. There were no signs of recent mistreatment. But Levinson, who has a history of diabetes and high blood pressure, implored the U.S. to help him quickly.
"I have been treated well. But I need the help of the United States government to answer the requests of the group that has held me for three and a half years,'' Levinson says. "And please help me get home."
His voice weakens and breaks as he speaks of "my beautiful, my loving, my loyal wife, Christine," as well as his children and his grandson.
"I am not in very good health," he says. "I am running very quickly out of diabetes medicine."
Authorities have examined the video for any slight clues of Levinson's whereabouts. The video was accompanied by a demand that the U.S. release prisoners, but officials said the United States is not holding anyone matching the names on the list.
Christine Levinson said she just wants her husband back.
"All I want is for our family to be whole again," she says in the video, in a message directed toward her husband. "We love you. We miss you every day. We will not abandon you."