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Navy veteran from Imperial Beach being held in Iran

Posted at 12:10 PM, Jan 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-08 20:51:29-05

IMPERIAL BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) - A Navy veteran imprisoned in Iran after reportedly going to the country to visit his girlfriend was married and lived with his wife in an apartment complex in Imperial Beach.

The New York Times reported 46-year-old Michael R. White was detained in Iran while visiting his Iranian girlfriend in July. White is being held on unspecified charges, his mother told The Times.

According to the New York Times, Joanne White filed a missing person report after her son did not return from his trip as planned in late July. She told The Times that State Department officials notified her in December that her son was being held in an Iranian prison.

A manager at an apartment complex in the 700 block of 11th Street in Imperial Beach told 10News Michael White and his wife lived in a unit for several years.

The manager said White’s wife moved out five months ago after she stopped paying rent for two months and her husband disappeared.

The manager claimed White’s wife told her he was in Iran to visit his girlfriend when he was detained. According to the manager, White’s wife was aware of the Iranian girlfriend and she said her husband would visit the woman in Iran about every six months for an unspecified period of time.

Word of White’s detention comes amid an already tense relationship between the U.S. and Iran.

In May 2018, the U.S. withdrew from a nuclear pact with Iran and reinstated sanctions against the country.