The family of a 22-year-old American college student reported him missing after not hearing from him while he was studying at the University Grenoble Alpes in France.
The parents of Ken DeLand Jr. created a website with information about their son which says they last heard from him in November, NBC News reported Monday.
HELP US FIND KEN DELANDKenneth DeLand has been missing since 11/27/2022. While studying abroad at the University…
Posted by YMCA Europe on Friday, December 9, 2022
“On 11/27, we last heard from Kenny via ‘Whatsapp’; apparently, he left his host family’s residence and boarded the train headed for Valence, France. Kenny’s phone pinged on Wednesday, 11/30/22; there has not been any activity on his phone since,” the latest post on the site read.
The young man’s international studies are scheduled to end Saturday and his visa will expire on January 20, the website noted.
The NBC report continued:
Grenoble’s public prosecutor said in a statement that it had opened an investigation following a report on Nov. 29 “by students, of the disturbing disappearance of a 21-year-old American student who had come to Grenoble to study French.”
“The young man reportedly told several people that he had arrived in France insufficiently prepared and that he had difficulty making friends,” the statement said. “He appears to have left Grenoble voluntarily,” it added, noting that “He also mentioned that he wanted to go to Marseille before returning to the United States.”
On December 3, surveillance video showed the young DeLand at a store wearing a grey hat and red jacket. He reportedly spent $8.40 and that was the last time anyone saw him, according to NewsNation.
His family is trying to work with local French authorities but the language barrier has made it difficult. Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy is not allowed to reveal information due to privacy laws.
“Before this, he was in contact with me I mean almost daily,” said his father, Ken DeLand Sr. “At this point, I’m trying to stay positive. We’re all trying to stay positive.”
In a social media post on December 8, the father announced his son was missing and said, “We are extremely worried and want him to return home safe, please feel share our website which has the most up to date information and tag all of our local and national news publications so we can find Kenny!”
Carol, myself along with Jennifer and Zacary are extremely worried. Our Son, Kenny has been missing since 11/27. The…
Posted by Ken DeLand on Thursday, December 8, 2022
According to the NBC report, the young man is a student at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, and school officials are doing everything they can to help with the investigation.
Family members also filed a missing person report with French law enforcement, which means they will be notified if he tries to leave the country with his passport.
Meanwhile, Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-NY) said Monday her team is also helping the DeLand family:
My team is doing everything we can to assist the DeLand family during what I know is a very difficult time. If you have any information regarding Ken's whereabouts, please contact your local authorities. You can also visit the website below. https://t.co/UNYxIDLkli
— Rep. Claudia Tenney (@RepTenney) December 12, 2022
“If you have any information regarding Ken’s whereabouts, please contact your local authorities,” Tenney urged followers in a social media post.
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