An American college student is reported to have gone missing while studying abroad in France, NBC News reports.
The parents of Ken DeLand Jr. have launched a website in an effort to share information about their son as they “fear the worst and want him to be located.”
“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,” the FindKenDeland.com homepage states. “Kenny’s phone was said to of been pinged on Wednesday, 11/30/22.
“Still, communication has yet to happen from his phone or any social media since Sunday, 11/27/2022. Kenny’s bank was made aware of his disappearance and provided authorization to police to track purchases. According to his statements, Kenny made a purchase at a store on 12/3/22 in Montelimar at 9am for $8.40.
“We fear the worst and want him to be located.
“Kenny’s international studies are done on 12/17/22, and his VISA will expire on 1/20/23.”
DeLand was studying at the Université Grenoble Alpes in France at the time of his disappearance.
Grenoble’s public prosecutor issued a statement confirming that it had launched an investigation after receiving a report on November 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 obtained by NBC News states. “He appears to have left Grenoble voluntarily,” it added, acknowledging that DeLand had “also mentioned that he wanted to go to Marseille before returning to the United States.”
Ken DeLand said his son was in “constant communication” with his family during his time in France during an interview with ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ airing Monday (December 12) morning.
“He would reach out to me almost daily, sometimes every other day,” the father said
“Kenny’s a friendly, outgoing college student, a young man,” he added. “He loves to travel. So, this trip has been something that he’s really looked forward to and enjoyed.”
St. John Fisher University, a private college in Rochester, New York, confirmed that Ken DeLand Jr. was a student at the school and said it would assist the investigation into his disappearance in any way possible, remaining in “close contact” with the American Institute for Foreign Study, the study abroad agency, which is currently working alongside French authorities on the search, in a statement to NBC News.