Marc and Debra Tice, the parents of an American freelance journalist who went missing in Syria in 2012, have reason to believe that their son is still alive and say they appreciate the Trump administration’s efforts to locate him.
“We know he’s waiting for us to do whatever it takes to get him home free,” Marc Tice told Fox News during an interview on Aug. 15. “We just can’t wait for the day.”
Austin Tice was covering the Syrian civil war when he vanished en route to Lebanon in 2012. Five weeks later, a video emerged showing him blindfolded and being held by armed men. That was the last time that Tice, who now would be 37 years old, was seen.
U.S. investigators “believe him to be alive,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on Aug. 14. “We remain deeply concerned about his well-being and we’re actively working to bring Austin Tice home.”
Debra Tice said: “We really do admire this administration’s commitment to bringing Americans home. They’ve certainly got a good track record so far, and we really look forward to the day where we see Austin be another one of their wins.”
Marc Tice added, “We have a high level of confidence” in the current administration.
According to the White House, 17 Americans who had been detained or held hostage in foreign countries have been freed since Trump took office.
In April, FBI offered up to $1 million for information about Tice’s whereabouts, and in May, Trump appointed Robert C. O’Brien as the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs.
Marc Tice said: “From the very beginning, we had a strong relationship with this administration, with all the officials we have met. We are very happy to see Mr. O’Brien in his position as a special presidential envoy. We’ve spent significant time with him. … We are very hopeful and always wanting and expecting Austin home tomorrow.”
While it’s unusual for journalists to be held for as long as Tice has been missing, it is not unprecedented, Fox reported, citing a national security analyst. In the 1980s, Terry Anderson, who was the Middle East bureau chief for The Associated Press, was abducted in Lebanon and held by Shiite Hezbollah militants for more than six years.
Debra Tice summed up her feelings by saying, “It’s time to let Austin walk free.”