Steven Sotloff remembered by high school friend - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Steven Sotloff remembered by high school friend

By Jeff Skrzypek

HOBE SOUND, FL (WFLX) - When it was announced American journalist James Foley had been beheaded by terrorist group ISIS, Frank Buttaravoli tried to mentally prepare himself for the worst.

On Tuesday, the nightmare Buttaravoli feared became a reality.

After a video appeared on the Web, many have presumed his friend, Steven Sotloff, to be dead. "Steve is a hero. Just like the rest of our troops, who are over there in the Middle East, fighting for our country. Steve is just a hero in a different way," said Buttaravoli.

While attending Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire for high school, Buttaravoli and Sotloff quickly became friends. They were the only two teens from South Florida. "I would have never thought of this happening to Steve," said Buttaravoli.

Equipped with a kind soul, Buttaravoli said Sotloff did not have a bad bone in his body.

After graduation, the two kept in touch through Facebook where Sotloff shared his adventures as an international journalist. "When I found out he was in Egypt and other Middle Eastern areas, I thought this could be a really bad scenario for him," said Buttaravoli. "I'm only angry with these Islamic fundamentalists. That they could be so ruthless and unhuman."

In his presumed passing, Buttaravoli just hopes others  can appreciate the sacrifices his friend made so the world could be informed. "He will not be forgotten," said Buttaravoli.

On Wednesday, U.S. officials confirmed the video released by ISIS to be authentic.

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