The mother of James Foley, the US journalist executed by Islamist militants, told NBC's Today show that they had previously attempted to negotiate with the extremists holding their son hostage.
"The last time we heard from them was in December, actually. In December we had received several emails but then they stopped communicating," Diane Foley said.
"And so we were just anxiously waiting. We had established a special email and sent multiple messages hoping to engage them."
James' father, John, said he had been "excited" to see the most recent Islamic State email "despite the conclusion that they would execute Jim" and that he "did not realise how brutal they were."
A British family have told ITV News of their devastation after discovering a close relative is fighting with the Islamic State in Iraq.
A French journalist who was held hostage with James Foley in Syria has told ITV News it was "devastating" to see his murder.