ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A public prosecutor in Grenoble opened an investigation into 22-year-old Saint John Fisher University student Kenny DeLand Jr., who recently went missing while studying abroad in France.
According to prosecutor Eric Vaillant, he heard from other people that he arrived in France insufficiently prepared and was having difficulties making friends with people. Vaillant then said that DeLand voluntarily left Grenoble and was last seen in a store in Montelimar on December 3.
According to Vaillant, DeLand mentioned that he wanted to go to Marseille before returning home.
DeLand’s father — Ken DeLand, Sr. — has said that it isn’t like his son to go off the grid and that he and his son have always been in contact before his disappearance.
“It’s a nightmare. It’s your son. You want him to come home. You want to hear from him or at least hear that he’s okay,” said Carol Laws, Ken DeLand’s mother.
The family has not heard from DeLand since November 27. DeLand Sr. said that his son left the home of his host family and boarded a train to Valence. Deland then entered a store in Montelimar and reportedly made an $8.40 transaction.
Due to the Privacy Act, information about an adult cannot be released, unless the person gives permission — which DeLand, Jr. did not.
The FBI released a statement in regard to the disappearance of DeLand, saying:
“The FBI is aware of the matter of a missing U.S. student studying abroad in France. Through our Legal Attaché Office in Paris, we continue to offer assistance to our international partners. Please contact the U.S. Embassy American Citizen Services as the lead for anything further.”
Anyone with information about DeLand’s disappearance is asked to leave a tip on this website or to call St. John Fisher’s Office of Safety and Security at (585)-385-8025.