Parents of Missing US Journalist Head to Syria
The parents of an American journalist missing in Syria are on their way to Beirut, Lebanon, where they hope to "seek out people who can help facilitate his release," the family said Sunday, according to CNN.
Austin Tice, who was working as a freelancer for McClatchy and other news outlets, last contacted his family on August 13 while in Syria reporting on the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's government.
He was preparing to leave Syria for neighboring Lebanon when he went missing, the family said.
"It's more to seek out people who can help facilitate his release," a family spokesperson told CNN. "(His parents) will be giving a few interviews, but the focus is on making themselves available to those who can help. 'Help' in the sense of intervening directly with his captors."
The U.S. State Department has said that Tice was detained by Syrian officials in August as he was preparing to leave the country, after he had smuggled himself into the country to report on the uprising.
In November, Marc Tice, Austin Tice's father, told reporters that the Syrian government said it was unaware of the journalist’s whereabouts.
In October, a video surfaced on YouTube showing a man believed to be Tice surrounded by armed men.
The State Department questioned the authenticity of the video, which purports to show Tice in the custody of Syrian rebels.
Last year, Tice's parents told CNN that they did not want to place the blame on any group but simply want their son to return home safely.