US belief missing journalist is alive boosts parents' hopes

The parents of a Houston journalist taken hostage in Syria in 2012 say their hope their son will come home safely has never wavered.

That faith recently got a boost from U.S. officials, who told the family that they have high confidence Austin Tice is alive.

Tice's parents got the update about their son late last year from James O'Brien, President Obama's Envoy for Hostage Affairs.

Marc Tice, Austin Tice's father, told The Associated Press during an interview Thursday the latest update shows that efforts to secure his son's release need to continue.

The State Department has said the U.S. continues working to gather information about Tice, who disappeared in August 2012 while covering the civil war in Syria. It's not clear what entity is holding him.