Miami family prays son will be released by ISIS - 7News Boston WHDH-TV

Miami family prays son will be released by ISIS

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Journalist Steven Sotloff Journalist Steven Sotloff

PINECREST, Fla. (WSVN) -- A South Florida family is praying that their son, who is allegedly being held by ISIS militants, will be safely released and returned home.

Steven Sotloff is a South Florida journalist and University of Central Florida graduate. The Sotloff family lives in Pinecrest. They are distraught about this stomach-turning situation and have asked a police officer to sit outside their home to ensure their privacy is respected.

"Everyone is very scared right now," said a family friend. "No one really knows what to think of the situation because we never really thought that we would ever have one of our friends in this situation."

Sotloff is believed to be the second journalist shown in a video released by ISIS. His life, according to a militant dressed all in black, now lies in the hands of President Barack Obama, depending on what he does next. The request is for Obama to end military operations in Iraq.

On his Twitter account Sotloff describes himself as a "standup philosopher from Miami." The freelance journalist has not been seen in more than a year. He was reportedly kidnapped at the Syria/Turkey border in 2013.

On Tuesday, Congresswoman Illeana Ros-Lehtinen tweeted: "Journalist Steven Sotloff is in ISIS custody. Went missing in Libya. Parents live in my Pinecrest town. Have met with them. Felt helpless."

The family is not speaking at this time.

In a more recently released statement, Ros-Lehtinen continued, "I met with the Sotloff family in Miami and have spoken to them over the phone while in DC regarding their son Steven's situation. My office has contacted the relevant agencies, departments and even organizations with connections on the ground in Syria to try to get answers for the Sotloff family. This is a tragic situation, and we have seen that ISIL has no respect for human life."

Many people that were friends with Sotloff and went to school with him are tweeting #SaveSteveSotloff.

There is a petition making the rounds to the White House to bring Sotloff home. So far, it has nearly 7,000 signatures, but has a long way to go. Many people are praying and hoping Sotloff will be able to return home.

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