Video appears to show missing U.S. journalist blindfolded and in distress

Updated 10:01 AM EDT, Tue October 2, 2012

Story highlights

Austin Tice, a freelance journalist, went missing in Syria in mid-August

A U.S. official says it is believed Tice was detained by Syrian government forces

Tice's family and two news organizations say a video shows Tice alive, but in distress

The video's circumstances are unclear; a U.S. official questions whether it was staged

(CNN) —  

A video uploaded to YouTube shows a blindfolded American freelance journalist, in obvious distress, weeks after he was last heard from in Syria.

The two news organizations he worked for – McClatchy Newspapers and the Washington Post – both identified Austin Tice in the video, which was posted online to YouTube on September 26.

And the missing journalist’s father, Marc Tice, Monday read to CNN a family statement that said: “Knowing Austin is alive and well is comforting to our family. Though it is difficult to see our eldest son in such a setting and situation as the one depicted in the video, it is reassuring that he appears to be unharmed.”

Still, the circumstances surrounding the 47-second video – including when and where it was shot, as well as specifically who it depicts – remain unclear.