Ken DeLand missing: American college student disappears in France while studying abroad

Ken DeLand’s phone was last pinged on November 30

By Landon Mion

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 Nov. 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.

DeLand was reported missing on Nov. 29 after not attending class or being seen by any friends or his host family, prompting an investigation into his disappearance. 

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

He also has not made any social media posts since Nov. 27. DeLand’s father said his son’s phone was last pinged on Nov. 30.





The American college student who went missing while studying abroad in France was “insufficiently prepared” for life overseas 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 Nov. 27 on the WhatsApp messaging app after he left the home of his host family to catch a train to Valence, France. His phone was last pinged on Nov. 30.

Grenoble prosecutor Eric Vaillant said in a statement to Fox News Digital that DeLand seems to have left the city voluntarily after having trouble making friends.

DeLand “told several people that he arrived in France insufficiently prepared and had difficulty making friends,” Vaillant said.




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

Vaillant also said DeLand had expressed a desire to leave early for the city of Marseille before returning home to the U.S. He was scheduled to leave France on Dec. 15.

The family launched a website in the hopes of receiving information about their missing son’s potential whereabouts.

American college student Kenny DeLand went missing last month while studying abroad in France, his parents said.

American college student Kenny DeLand went missing last month while studying abroad in France, his parents said. (findkendeland.com)




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 Dec. 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 Dec. 3.




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

DeLand's family said he was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, grey beanie, blue pants, a black backpack and sneakers.

DeLand’s family said he was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, grey beanie, blue pants, a black backpack and sneakers. (findkendeland.com)

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.




Ken DeLand Jr., a 22-year-old senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, last contacted his parents on November 27.

Ken DeLand Jr., a 22-year-old senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, last contacted his parents on November 27. (Instagram/Ken DeLand)

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.




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