An American college student went missing last month while studying abroad in France, his parents said.
Ken DeLand Jr., a 22-year-old senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, last contacted his parents on November 27 on the WhatsApp messaging app. That contact was made after he left the home of his host family to catch a train to Valence, France.
He also has not made any social media posts since November 27. DeLand’s father said his son’s phone was last pinged on November 30.
The family launched a website in the hopes of receiving information about their missing son’s potential whereabouts.
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DeLand’s bank authorized police to track his purchases after learning of his disappearance. He made a purchase at a store at 9 a.m. on December 3 in the town of Montelimar, according to his bank statement.
His family’s website said he was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, grey beanie, blue pants, a black backpack and sneakers. They said he is about 6 feet tall and 190 pounds.
The family also provided a photograph from a surveillance camera of him walking inside a sporting goods store on December 3.
“We fear the worst and want him to be located,” the family’s website reads.
French authorities said DeLand has officially been reported missing.
DeLand was studying abroad at the University of Grenoble Alpes through the study abroad program called the American Institute for Foreign Study.
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The program said in a statement that it “joins others concerned for his safety and we are working with local law enforcement who have begun a search. We have been in contact with Kenneth’s family and university and we are hoping for his swift and safe return.”
DeLand’s father said in an interview that a liaison from the program had contacted the family and said he did not attend class.