UPDATED 5:22 PM PT – Friday, December 16, 2022
Kenneth DeLand, a college student at St. John Fisher University was found alive in Spain nearly three weeks after he disappeared.
The American was reported missing in France on November 28th where he had been learning French at the University of Grenoble Alpes.
On December 3rd, DeLand was reportedly seen in a supermarket in the town of Montelimar, about 90 miles southwest of Grenoble.
His phone last pinged at the train station in Valence on November 30th at 7 p.m. local time. By then, the 21-year-old’s family had created a website where people could post updates any relevant information regarding his whereabouts.
On Thursday, Interpol issued a yellow notice stating DeLand’s missing case. These notices are specially designed to help locate missing persons, minors or anyone who cannot identify themselves.
DeLand’s study abroad program was supposed to end on Saturday while his visa is set to expire in January.
The student called his father on Friday, after being heard from last on November 27th.
In an online statement, the DeLands updated that their son was safe. They had a conversation with him and confirmed their son is supposed return to the U.S. on Saturday.
The family also acknowledged that without media’s help, their son would not have seen himself in the news and been aware that his family was worried about him. They also thanked the FBI, American legislators, French officials, and the school for their assistance.
“We are so happy to announce that Kenny is safe.” They added. “Kenny is in Spain, and Carol (his mom) is in France, preparing to see Kenny and hopefully bring him home for Christmas.”