The FBI agent in charge of the investigation into the theft of $500 million worth of masterpieces from a Boston museum nearly a quarter century ago says the bureau has "confirmed sightings" of the missing artwork from credible sources.
The art, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and Manet, was stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in 1990 by two men disguised as city police officers.
FBI Special Agent Geoff Kelly, the lead investigator, told Boston's WFXT-TV that the trail for the missing artwork has not grown cold.
"We believe that over certain periods of time, this artwork has been spotted," Kelly, who's worked on the case for 11 years, told the TV station. In the interview that was broadcast Wednesday night, Kelly did not say the FBI has seen the artwork, or that the agency has verified their authenticity. He did not say the sources the FBI is relying on say they artwork they "spotted" are actually those that were stolen.
He identified three "persons of interest" in the Gardner case, all with ties to organized crime: Carmello Merlino, Robert Guarente and Robert Gentile. Merlino and Guarente have died, while Gentile has denied any knowledge of the missing work.
A $5 million reward has been offered.
With additional reporting by WBUR. This post was updated at noon.
In 2010, WBUR examined three of the stolen works: