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FBI searches for missing agent, believed to be suicidal

FBI agent Stephen Ivens was last seen Friday at his Burbank home. He might have his gun, and dogs tracked his scent toward the Verdugo Mountains, officials say.

May 13, 2012|By Brittany Levine, Los Angeles Times
  • The disappearance of FBI agent Stephen Ivens, 35, of Burbank triggered a manhunt.
The disappearance of FBI agent Stephen Ivens, 35, of Burbank triggered… (Burbank Police Dept. )

Authorities launched Burbank's largest manhunt in 20 years in search of a missing FBI agent who was believed to be suicidal and possibly carrying a handgun, officials said Saturday.

More than 150 law enforcement personnel joined in a search that began Friday and fanned through the rugged Verdugo Mountains and other parts of Los Angeles County looking for Stephen Ivens, 35, a Los Angeles-based agent specializing in national security affairs.

He was last seen Friday at his home in the 1700 block of Scott Road in Burbank. Also missing from the home he shared with his wife and 1-year-old son was his handgun, officials said.

Officials would not reveal why they believed Ivens was suicidal.

"He's been a valuable member of our office," FBI Special Agent Steve Gomez said at a news conference at the Burbank Police Department.

A 40-member search and rescue team from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department along with a dozen Burbank police officers were assisting between 100 and 200 FBI agents in the search, officials said. Helicopters and bloodhounds were also used.

"The last search Burbank had of this kind was 20 years ago," Burbank Police Capt. Denis Cremins said.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said the "prime reason for the amount of resources is there is concern there is a weapon."

Ivens has been with the FBI for more than three years and before that spent eight years in the Los Angeles Police Department.

Officials said Ivens, an avid hiker, left his house on foot. Bloodhounds tracked his scent toward the Verdugo Mountains, Gomez said, but officials are also searching elsewhere in the county.

Officials said they do not believe Ivens is a danger to anyone but himself, but they warned people not to approach him if they spot him. Instead, they said, people should call Burbank police at (818) 238-3000 or the FBI at (310) 420-6441.

Ivens is white, 6 feet tall and 160 pounds. He has receding brown hair and wears prescription glasses, police said.

brittany.levine@latimes.com

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