HomeWorldKen DeLand: Missing American college student in France had trouble making friends,...

Ken DeLand: Missing American college student in France had trouble making friends, may have left voluntarily


The American college student who disappeared while studying abroad in France was “not sufficiently prepared” for life abroad and may have left voluntarily, according to a French prosecutor.

Ken DeLand Jr., a senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, last contacted his parents on November 27 via the WhatsApp messaging app after he left the home of his host family to catch a train to Valence, France. His phone was last tracked on November 30.

Grenoble prosecutor Eric Vaillant said in a statement to French media that DeLand appears to have left the city voluntarily after having trouble making friends.

The 22-year-old student was learning French at the University of Grenoble Alpes.

KEN DELAND MISSING: AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENT MISSING IN FRANCE WHILE STUDYING ABROAD

A French prosecutor investigating the disappearance of American college student Ken DeLand has said he may have left voluntarily after having difficulty making friends.
(findkendeland.com)

Vaillant said DeLand had expressed a desire to leave early for the city of Marseille before returning to the United States. He was scheduled to leave France on December 15.

land family launched a website hoping for advice on where it might be.

“At first, Ken struggled to fit in and make friends abroad,” the family wrote. “However, he remained positive and made great connections. We learned that he told his friends in the United States and France that he wanted to travel to Marseille before coming home.”

The website said DeLand was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, gray beanie, blue pants, a black backpack and sneakers.

The family said he is approximately 6 feet tall and weighs 190 pounds. They also provided a photo from a surveillance camera of him walking inside a sporting goods store on Dec. 3.

KEN DELAND: FATHER OF MISSING AMERICAN COLLEGE STUDENT IN FRANCE WARNS OTHER PARENTS ABOUT STUDYING ABROAD

DeLand was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, gray beanie, blue pants, a black backpack, and sneakers.

DeLand was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, gray beanie, blue pants, a black backpack, and sneakers.
(findkendeland.com)

“We fear the worst and want it to be located,” read the family’s website.

According to French authorities, DeLand was reported missing on November 29 after missing classes or being seen by a friend or his host family, prompting an investigation into his disappearance.

Classmates who saw him on campus the day before said he seemed normal and happy, according to the family’s website.

DeLand’s bank authorized police to trace her purchases after learning of her disappearance. He made an $8.40 purchase at a store at 9 a.m. Dec. 3 in the town of Montelimar, according to his bank statement.

He was learning abroad through the study abroad program called the American Institute of Foreign Studies, which he said “he joins others concerned for his safety and we are working with local law enforcement who have begun a search.”

DeLand was reported missing on November 29 after missing class or being seen by a friend or host family, prompting an investigation into his disappearance.

DeLand was reported missing on November 29 after not attending class or being seen by friends or his host family, prompting an investigation into his disappearance.
(findkendeland.com)

“We have been in contact with Kenneth’s family and university and look forward to his speedy and safe return,” AIFS said in a statement.

Tips the family received through their website have been passed to the FBI, which is assisting international authorities in the investigation through its Paris office.

The US State Department said it is “aware of reports of a missing US citizen in France.”

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“When an American citizen goes missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts, and we share information with families as we can,” a State Department spokesperson told Fox News Digital. “The Department of State has no higher priority than the welfare and safety of American citizens abroad. We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to American citizens and their families in need.”



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