The parents of a senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, said their son has been missing since last month while studying abroad in France.
Ken DeLand Jr.’s family launched a website to get information about their missing son out to the public.
His family said they last heard from their son on Nov. 27 on the popular WhatsApp messaging app after he left the home of his host and was headed on a train to Valence, France. According to his dad, the last time his son’s phone pinged was on Nov. 30.
DeLand Jr. was in “constant communication” with his family while abroad, said his father Kenneth DeLand, who also spoke to “Good Morning America” in an interview airing Monday morning.
“He would reach out to me almost daily, sometimes every other day,” DeLand Sr. said.
The 22-year-old was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, grey beanie, blue pants, black backpack and sneakers, his family said on the website, alongside a picture from a surveillance camera of him walking inside a sporting goods store on Dec. 3.
According to French authorities, DeLand Jr. has officially been reported missing.
DeLand Jr. was learning abroad at the University of Grenoble Alpes through the study abroad program, American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS).
“AIFS 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,” AIFS told ABC News.
According to DeLand Sr., a liaison from the program had reached out to the family saying he didn’t attend class, which was unusual.
“Kenny’s a friendly, outgoing college student, a young man,” the elder DeLand said. “He loves to travel. So, this trip has been something that he’s really looked forward to and enjoyed.” (ABC)