MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The call for action to help hostage Steven Sotloff is growing in South Florida.

Terrorists are threatening to kill him if military action is not stopped in Iraq.

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Arthur Sotloff told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he and his wife, Shirley, wanted to thank everyone for their prayers and their well wishes.

Click here to WATCH Peter D’Oench’s report

D’Oench reported that is all they can say right now amid this very sensitive situation.

Their son’s been held captive for a year and a lot of people are praying for him.

Sotloff said he’s grateful for the community’s support for his 31-year-old son Steven, a freelance journalist who has been seen on his knees a disturbing picture with a presumed terrorist dressed in black at his side.

Another journalist, James Foley was beheaded. His grieving parents showed their support for Sotloff Thursday morning.

“We pray strongly that everything possible can be done to save Steve Sotloff and other American hostages,” said John Foley during an interview on the TODAY show on NBC.

Foley’s mother, Diane, added, “We just pray that he will be set free.”

One day after Sotloff’s mother, Shirley, told D’Oench that her son was alive, Arthur Sotloff invited D’Oench without a camera to his front door to say they thank everyone for their prayers and their well wishes.

“We’ve been trying over a year to help the Sotloff family and we should pray for his safe return. He’s still alive. There’s still so much hope,” said Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen said she’s been working with the State Department and White House and groups like Amnesty International.

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“We’re taking these steps for his safe return and are doing everything possible to make that happen,” said Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen. “This is a huge issue. We are talking about ISIS, a terrorist group that has no regard for human life. We need to stamp those guys out.”

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson told CBS4, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of the murdered journalist and those still held captive, including a young man whose parents live in Florida.”

Senator Nelson had strong words for the terrorists.

“The inhumane and brutal nature of this crime shows just how barbaric this group really is.  Those who committed this atrocity must and will be caught and will be dealt with,” Senator Nelson said.

In Sotloff’s parent’s community, the situation has made many people anxious.

“I think it’s very,very said that what is happening over there is so close to home,” said neighbor Eddie Alvarez.

He applauds an on-line petition that calls for President Barack Obama to take any means necessary to save Sotloff.

“You can never give up. You can always try a little bit harder with all the power we have on social media. A lot more can be done,” said Alvarez.

More than 8,500 Americans have signed the on-line petition for Steven Sotloff.

Meanwhile, Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen has written to groups including Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders and Human Rights Watch to see if anyone knows where Steven Sotloff might be located.

Sotloff was kidnapped in August of 2013 near the Syrian-Turkish border.


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Peter D'Oench