On March 9, Robert A. “Bob” Levinson had been missing from Kish Island, Iran for 13 years. Levinson was abducted by the Iranian government on March 9, 2007, and was the longest-held hostage in U.S. history, according to the FBI.

Tragically, his family was informed by the White House that he died in Iranian custody. He would have been 72 years old.

The Levinson Family has been through years of pain and has hoped for Levinson’s release for more than a decade. They made an official statement Wednesday.

“Today with aching hearts we are sharing devastating news, about Robert Levinson, the head of our family,” the statement on Twitter reads. “We recently received information from U.S. officials that has led both them and us to conclude that our wonderful husband and father died in while in Iranian custody. We don’t know when or how he died, only that it was prior to the COVID19 pandemic.”

The family extended their “deepest appreciation to President Trump and members of his administration.”

Read the Levinson family’s statement below:

 

Tomorrow, Mr. Levinson will turn 72 years old. Bob served his country for 28 years, including 22 years as an FBI special agent. This anniversary is another opportunity for the leadership of the government of Iran to finally return Bob home to his family.

During the past 13 years, the only credible evidence of responsibility in Mr. Levinson’s disappearance has pointed to those working for the government of Iran. The FBI renews its repeated calls to Iran to uphold its prior commitments to cooperate and to share information which could lead to Bob’s return. To date, the leadership of the government of Iran has fallen far short of any such commitments.