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Search in Verdugo Mountains for missing FBI agent is stopped

May 24, 2012 |  9:19 am


The search in the Verdugo Mountains for a missing FBI agent has been stopped and investigators will instead focus on tips from the public, according to Burbank police.

Authorities had been actively combing the nearby mountains for 35-year-old FBI agent Stephen Ivens, who went missing from his Burbank home nearly two weeks ago.

Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said Wednesday a final search was carried out over the weekend by members of the Ventura and Los Angeles County sheriff’s departments, but they came up empty.

In the days after the May 11 disappearance, authorities from several agencies mounted a massive search — initially focused on the Verdugo Mountains — using helicopters, dogs and foot patrols.

It took on added urgency because officials said he probably had his department-issued gun and could be a danger to himself, although they declined to say why.

But with no progress, Ryburn said the effort had turned into a search driven by leads from the public — of which there have been few.

Standing outside the Burbank Police Department on Wednesday during a news conference, Ivens’ family again appealed to the public for help while asking the agent — a father of a 1-year-old son — to send some sign that he was alive.

"Babe, wherever you are, just please reach out and let us know you are OK," his wife, Thea, said as she stood flanked by several family members.

"Please just come home," said his mother, Catherine.

Anyone with information about Stephen Ivens or his whereabouts can call police at (818) 238-3000, or the FBI at (310) 477-6565.


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Photo: Thea Ivens, wife of missing Burbank FBI agent Stephen Ivens, left, and his mother, Catherine, Ivens plead for the public's help. Credit: Raul Roa / Burbank Leader