Austin Tice’s Story Wikipedia: Parents, Family, Married Wife, Children, Mother, Father, Siblings, What Happened, Dead or Alive?

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What happened to Austin Bennett Tice? The Award-winning American journalist disappeared on August 14, 2012, and alleged to be kidnapped while reporting in Darayya, Syria. He has yet to be found.

The rate at which people are going missing in the world is alarming.

While some fake their abduction for fame, a number of others are kidnapped and tortured leaving their families and loved ones traumatised.

The case of Austin Bennett Tice who went missing in Syria, is totally different because he is yet to be found after more than a decade of disappearing.

The US government is still looking for the award-winning journalist and offering $1 million for information leading to his safe return.

But, who is Austin Bennett Tice, what happened to him, and has he been found? Read on for more about the missing person, his family, and more.

Freelance journalist Austin Tice was abducted in Syria in August 2012
Freelance journalist Austin Tice was abducted in Syria in August 2012. Credit: AFP

Who is Austin Bennett Tice?

Austin Bennett Tice is a famous American freelance journalist and former US Marine Corps officer.

He was born on August 11, 1981, in Piano, Texas, United States.

He has worked with several media organizations, including, McClatchy, The Washington Post, and CBS.

During his time with the Marines, he served as an infantry officer and did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Tice was one of the first American correspondents to witness Syrian-rebel confrontations and one of the few foreign journalists to report from inside Syria during the intensification of the civil war. 

Tice’s reporting garnered his Twitter account 2,000 followers. He stopped tweeting after August 11, 2012.

He entered the country in May 2012 and traveled through central Syria, filing battlefield dispatches before arriving in Damascus in late July 2012. 

In a lengthy Facebook post, he defended his decision to go amid the civil unrest in the country.

“No, I don’t have a death wish – I have a life wish,” he wrote.

“So I’m living, in a place, at a time and with a people where life means more than anywhere I’ve ever been – because every single day people here lay down their own for the sake of others. Coming here to Syria is the greatest thing I’ve ever done, and it’s the greatest feeling of my life.”

Austin Tice's parents Debra Tice (L) and Marc Tice (R).
Austin Tice’s parents Debra Tice (L) and Marc Tice (R).

Who are Austin Tice’s parents?

Austin Tice was born to mother Debra Tice and father Marc Tice in Houston, Texas.

Tice’s dad said, “He was hearing reports from Syria saying this is happening and that is happening but it can’t be confirmed because there really are no reporters on the ground. And he said, ‘You know, this is a story that the world needs to know about.’  

Who are Austin Tice’s siblings? Tice is not the only child of his parents. He is the eldest of seven siblings. He is an Eagle Scout and grew up dreaming of becoming an international correspondent for NPR.

What school did Austin Tice attend?

Tice was reportedly in the middle of his studies at Georgetown University Law Center when he headed to Syria to cover the civil war.

Before, when he was 16 years old, he attended the University of Houston for one year, then transferred to and graduated from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University in 2002. 

When did Austin Tice go missing?

The FBI declared Austin Tice missing on August 13, 2012.

The organization noted that he was kidnapped in Damascus, Syria.

Per the website set up by his family, Tice had been planning to fly to Lebanon on August 14 but got detained in a suburb somewhere in Damascus.

Five weeks later, a video with the title “Austin Tice Alive” surfaced, showing the journalist being taken hostage by armed men.

At the time, the US government stated that they believed Tice was in the custody of the Bashar al-Assad regime.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken declared in May 2023 that the government hadn’t halted its efforts to locate Tice and ensure his safe return to US soil.

“We are extensively engaged with regard to Austin, engaged with Syria, engaged with third countries, seeking to find a way to get him home. And we’re not going to relent until we do,” he said at a Washington Post event on World Press Freedom Day.

The previous year, on the 10th anniversary of Tice’s disappearance, the Biden administration revealed that they were in direct contact with the Syrian government to try and bring him home.

President Joe Biden also asserted that the US government knows “with certainty that he has been held by the Syrian regime.”

“The Tice family deserves answers, and more importantly, they deserve to be swiftly reunited with Austin.  We stand with Austin’s many loved ones, and we will not rest until we bring Austin home.”

The US government believes that Austin Tice is 'held by the Syrian regime'
The US government believes that Austin Tice is ‘held by the Syrian regime’. Credit: Reporters Without Borders

What’s more, Edward Price, the former spokesperson for the State Department, noted that the US government “engaged extensively, and that includes directly with Syrian officials and through third parties

“Unfortunately despite our calls, despite our engagement, despite the engagement of third parties in other countries, Syria has never acknowledged holding him. But we are not going to be deterred in our efforts

“We are going to pursue every avenue for securing Austin’s safe return to [his parents] Debra and Marc and to his entire family.”

What has his family said about Austin?

In 2014, two years after Tice’s abduction, his parents, Debra and Marc Tice, penned a lengthy letter addressed to their son and shared it with The Washington Post.

“Austin, please know that we love and miss you more than words can say. God willing, you will be back to blow out the candles when you turn 34,” they wrote.

The two met with President Biden in May 2022 to discuss Austin.

“We asked President Biden to pursue sustained diplomatic engagement including transactional negotiation with the Syrian government for Austin’s safe return,” they shared in a statement.

“This has been our request of the US and Syrian governments for more than eight years. We left this meeting with hope that there is renewed momentum for engagement.”

A year later, in May 2023, Debra shared with CNN that she thinks the US government is still continuing its efforts to locate Austin. However, she believes that “they stumble over what needs to be done.”

As of this writing, the US government has set a reward of up to $1million for “information leading directly to the safe location, recovery, and return” of Austin Tice.

Is Austin Tice alive or dead?

While no public information conclusively proves Mr Tice is still alive, the United States government, and other credible sources believe Austin is not dead. Basing in part on intelligence in 2016, a publication sighted on The Guardian reports that Tice was seen at a hospital in Damascus receiving treatments.

Successive US administrations have contended that Tice was alive and being held captive somewhere in Syria. 

His parents have never stopped looking for him, and they say there’s evidence to suggest he is alive.

Who is Austin Tice’s wife?

Questions about Austin Tice’s personal life like whether he was married or not was asked among many who were troubled by his story. But there are no confirmed reports if he has a wife or not. It is assumed Austin Tice has never been married.

Does Austin Tice have a girlfriend? Not only is the missing journalist not married, but he reportedly has no girlfriend and wasn’t in any relationship.

Does Austin Tice have any children?

Since he disappeared on August 14, 2012 (aged 31) till today, Austin Tice, 42, is not known to be a father and hence he has no kids. There are no reports confirming he welcomed a son or a daughter with any woman.