In the video showing the tragic murder of American journalist James Foley, another journalist, Steven Sotloff, appears alive at the very end. The executioner, identified as a London man known only as "John", who leads a British faction of ISIL in Syria, says, "The life of this American citizen, Obama, depends on your next decision," as he holds Sotloff by the neck.
Sotloff was taken hostage on August 4, 2013 by ISIL. His disappearance was subject to a "media blackout," for his safety and that of the other hostages, according to Lauren Sotloff's boyfriend, who also posted a link on his personal Facebook page to a White House Petition urging President Obama to "do everything possible to free American reporter Steven Sotloff from ISIS in Syria and save his life."
Emerson Lotzia, Sotloff's college roommate, has also offered a brief interview to CNN, "I've known Steve was missing for the past year -- the problem is, he was a low-profile freelance journalist -- his family didn't want anyone in the media talking about Steve because they were afraid of retaliation. If any old friends asked me about Steve over the past year, I'd just say I hadn't seen him in a long time."
Grant J. Heston, Vice President for Communications and Marketing at University of Central Florida, told The Wire, "This is an unspeakably terrible circumstance. We join so many others who hope for Steven’s safe return."