Family of missing Burbank FBI agent launches own search

Special Agent Stephen Ivens went missing May 11. Authorities say few leads have come in and have called off active searches.

June 13, 2012|By Maria Hsin,
  • Thea Ivens asks for volunteers to help search for her missing husband, Stephen Ivens, during a press conference near the Stough Canyon Trail in Burbank.
Thea Ivens asks for volunteers to help search for her missing… (Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

The family of an FBI agent who disappeared from his Burbank home more than a month ago made an emotional plea on Wednesday for the public’s help in preventing the case from going cold.

It was the second time the family of Special Agent Stephen Ivens appealed for help in tracking down Ivens’ whereabouts since he went missing May 11, seemingly vanishing despite a massive manhunt by foot and air in the days after his disappearance.

The active, on-the-ground searches have long been called off, and authorities say few, if any, leads have come in.

The family has since launched its own search effort, aided in large part by social media websites and campaigns.

Standing at the base of a popular hiking trail at the Stough Nature Center in Burbank on Wednesday, Ivens’ wife, Thea, called for volunteers to assist with two searches organized by the family on June 16 and 23.


“We can’t do that alone,” she said, adding that the family was “still hoping” her husband would come home.

“My understanding is that if there are no leads, there are no searches,” Thea Ivens said. “Lately there have not been any tips or leads.”

Her appeal came one day before Stephen Ivens’ 36th birthday.

The agent, who specializes in national security, disappeared from his Burbank home in the 1700 block of Scott Road, prompting a massive search that involved about 100 FBI agents and 50 local law enforcement officials who initially focused on the nearby Verdugo Mountains.

The search took on added urgency because officials said Ivens likely had his department-issued gun and could be a danger to himself, although they declined to say why.

The family has been conducting their own search of the Verdugo Mountains, soup kitchens in Santa Monica and Venice Beach, and homeless shelters, Thea Ivens said.

The Burbank Police Department — the lead agency on the case — told the family detectives were reviewing tapes from the downtown Burbank Metrolink Station for possible leads, said Jim Ryan, Stephen Ivens’ uncle, who was also at the press conference Wednesday.

Thea Ivens recounted how she called 9-1-1 on May 11 to report Ivens missing after finding a letter addressed to her and their son.

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