Kenny DeLand Jr found: missing Rochester student located in Spain after seeing himself on TV. Had been having difficult time in France when he voluntarily left.
The parents of a missing upstate New York college student who they recently reported missing have shared the ‘good news’ that their son, who they had ‘feared the worse’ was very much alive and in good spirits.
Kenny DeLand Jr a Rochester student was thought to have gone missing while studying in France when he failed to stay in touch with his family, which by now had become a regular recurring habit. Except when it didn’t and their son could no longer be contacted led to the man’s family panicking.
‘He is alive — that’s all I can say,’ dad Ken DeLand Sr. told CNN on Friday.
‘We are so happy to announce that Kenny is safe,’ a statement read on a website launched to help locate the missing man. ‘Kenny is in Spain, and Carol (his mom) is in France, preparing to see Kenny and hopefully bring him home for Christmas.’
French prosecutor Eric Vaillant confirmed the news, telling CNN that the study abroad student was somewhere in Spain and had only come to be aware of the havoc surrounding him upon seeing himself become the focal point of world news.
Not immediately clear is where the son had ended up after leaving a Grenoble school at the end of November and why it took so long before finally reaching out to his family- as he had customarily done.
‘For him to not reach out, with no correspondence, this is very uncharacteristic of my son,’ DeLand Sr. told CNN on Wednesday. ‘This is what creates all the worry that any parent could ever feel.’
Neither the dad nor the official elaborated on exactly where the 22-year-old student was or what he had been doing for the past two weeks.
Of note, DeLand Jr was due to return to the United States in early December according to the student’s family. Except he never did. Or perhaps changed his mind, without notifying his family, as adults are often wanton to do.
At the time of his purported disappearance, the senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester had been attending the University of Grenoble Alpes and had last contacted his family on Nov. 27 on WhatsApp.
Fellow students reported DeLand missing on Nov. 29, with the French Interior Ministry reportedly describing him as having a difficult time making friends and being in a ‘fragile mood’ and possibly ‘depressed.’
The disparition inquiétante — or serious missing persons — report also noted that the student ‘does not speak French well.’
His dad earlier told CNN that not hearing from his son ‘creates all the worry that any parent could ever feel.’