James Foley's Parents Release Letter from His Time in Captivity

James Foley's Parents Release Letter from Time in Captivity
John and Diane Foley, parents of James Foley (inset)
Jim Cole/AP; Tommy Giglio/USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA

08/25/2014 AT 02:15 PM EDT

The parents of slain American journalist James Foley have released a letter they say their son wrote during his time in captivity.

Foley was kidnapped in 2012 while covering the Syrian uprising. The Islamic State group posted a Web video Tuesday showing his killing.

His parents say letters Foley wrote were confiscated by his captors, so he asked another hostage who was about to be released to memorize his letter and recount it to his family after he was freed. The family posted the letter Sunday on a Facebook page called "Find James Foley". A portion of it appears below; it begins, "Dear Family and Friends."

"I remember going to the mall with Dad, a very long bike ride with Mom. I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison. Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart."

"I know you are thinking of me and praying for me. And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray."

"Eighteen of us have been held together in one cell, which has helped me. We have had each other to have endless long conversations about movies, trivia, sports. We have played games made up of scraps found in our cell … we have found ways to play checkers, Chess, and Risk ... and have had tournaments of competition, spending some days preparing strategies for the next day’s game or lecture. The games and teaching each other have helped the time pass. They have been a huge help. We repeat stories and laugh to break the tension."

"I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength. We are being fed better now and daily. We have tea, occasional coffee. I have regained most of my weight lost last year."

The letter continues, mentioning specific memories Foley has of family members, and concluding, "Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life."



The U.K. Times reports that the clip showing Foley's execution appears to have been edited, according to an international forensic science company. Their evidence suggests that while Foley was indeed executed, the actual killing may have been carried out off-camera with camera tricks and post-production techniques used to streamline the footage.

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