The Islamic State militants who beheaded American journalist James Foley had demanded a ransom of 132.5 million US dollars (£80m) for his release, a US official says.
A second official says the demands were sent in emails to Mr Foley's family in New Hampshire. Both officials asked not to be named.
Separately, Mr Foley's former employer said that the militants first demanded the money late last year.
GlobalPost CEO Philip Balboni also indicated that European governments paid far less to have the Islamic State release their hostages.
US policy prohibits the government negotiating with terrorists, including paying ransom.
A video of Mr Foley's beheading was released on websites on Tuesday.