'We Want Him Home': Parents of American Held Captive in Syria Speak Out
The parents of an American man who was kidnapped in Syria nearly six years ago joined Martha MacCallum on "The Story" to give an update on their journey to bring their son home.
Austin Tice, a Marine veteran, was captured by unknown assailants in 2012 while he was in Syria as a photojournalist documenting the impact of the Syrian civil war on civilians.
The only sighting of Tice since he disappeared came in a video uploaded to YouTube five weeks later. The 43-second video shows Tice, blindfolded and with his hands bound, being led up a rocky hillside by a group of heavily armed men chanting in Arabic, "God is great." Tice recites a prayer in Arabic, then, in obvious duress, "Oh Jesus, oh Jesus."
The FBI is now offering a $1 million reward for information that leads to his safe return, and Tice's parents have reportedly been told by credible sources that he is alive.
"We want him home. Regardless of what's going on there. Even if it were coming up roses and they were having the opera tonight, we still just want Austin home," Debra Tice said.
Marc Tice said since no group has claimed responsibility or communicated with the family, their number one priority is to raise awareness and do everything they can to find out where their son is being held.
"We're frankly thrilled with the idea of this reward that was recently posted. We're hoping that leads to information that gets him closer to coming home to us," he said.
He added that Georgetown University, his son's alma mater, is hosting an exhibition of his photographs titled "Austin Tice: Children of Syria."
"He's a man with great compassion and was really taken by the plight of ordinary people in Syria in this conflict, and especially of the children there."