(CNN) — A retired FBI agent who authorities say tipped off notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger to his arrest more than 30 years ago is returning to Massachusetts.
Bob Fitzpatrick, who oversaw the FBI’s investigation into Bulger’s role in the Winter Hill Gang in the 1970s and 1980s, has been on medical leave from the agency since 2011.
In a written statement, FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch said Fitzpatrick’s leave “has been granted to permit him to continue to address health issues he is dealing with.”
“No information is available on the nature of these issues,” Lynch said.
Friends of Fitzpatrick told the Boston Globe he told them last week he had terminal cancer. That report has not been confirmed by the FBI.
The Globe reported that his supporters said Fitzpatrick was undergoing multiple rounds of radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
“Unfortunately, he won’t be able to continue his medical treatment due to a lack of funding, but hopefully he will be back in January for a fourth round of radiation and he’ll be walking once again,” the newspaper quoted one of Fitzpatrick’s friends, Lawrence Jacob, as saying.
Bulger fled Boston days before he was indicted on murder charges in 1982. A year later, he was arrested by federal agents in Santa Monica, California, and returned to Massachusetts to stand trial.