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Missing FBI agent seemed dazed, staggered, neighbor says

May 15, 2012 | 10:00 am

An FBI agent missing since last Friday seemed dazed and out of it late last week, a neighbor reported.

Stephen Ivens, 35, left on foot from his home in the 1700 block of Scott Road in Burbank on Friday morning and was reported missing by his family a short time later.

An avid hiker who is married and the father of a young child, Ivens was believed to be carrying his handgun, although he is not considered to be a threat to anyone but himself, according to authorities.

Sharon Goewert, a resident who lives a few blocks away from Ivens’ home, said she bumped into him Thursday night. She had only met the agent once earlier this year during her daily walk through the neighborhood.

She described him as seeming dazed and staggering on the sidewalk. She said she reported what she saw to the FBI.

A 40-member search-and-rescue team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department joined about a dozen Burbank police officers and 100 FBI agents in the search for him Saturday; but despite the massive response and dozens of tips from the public, Ivens wasn't found.

For most of Monday, air crews patrolled the skies above the Verdugo Mountains, where bloodhounds had initially tracked Ivens’ scent.

There is an “obvious sense of urgency to find him because of the missing weapon and scenarios associated with that that could pose a threat to public safety,” said Laura Eimiller of the FBI’s Los Angeles office.

Authorities have not said why Ivens was despondent and continued to urge anyone who sees him to call authorities rather than approach him.
Ivens’ scent in the Verdugo Mountains could have been from an earlier hike, Eimiller said, adding that the search was wide open.

“I’m not going to get into the entire investigation, but we don’t want to rule out that he may have gone in another direction,” she said. 

Ivens is not under any type of disciplinary action by the FBI and by all accounts is a reliable agent, Eimiller said.

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-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

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