Ken DeLand Found: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Ken DeLand Jr. is a New York college student from the United States who was reported missing while studying abroad in France.

His family now says that he has been found.

His parents set up a website to help find DeLand. “Kenny Has been located,” it now says. “We heard from Kenny on December 16; he is safe. Carol is currently in France, prepping to bring Kenny home!”

“Help us find Ken DeLand,” the website said previously.

“While studying abroad at the University Grenoble Alpes, France, our son Kenny DeLand went missing,” it reads. “…We fear the worst and want him to be located; please share this information.”

According to CNN, a French prosecutor has opened an investigation into DeLand’s disappearance.

He was last spotted on December 3, 2022, according to 13WHAM.

Here’s what you need you need to know:

1. DeLand Left His Host Family’s Home to Travel by Train to Valence, France

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DeLand family websiteKen DeLand

On a page of the family’s website, entitled “last known information,” it says that DeLand was last heard from on November 27, 2022.

“On 11/27, we last heard from Kenny via ‘Whatsapp’; apparently, he left his host family’s residence and boarded the train headed for Valence, France. Kenny’s phone pinged on Wednesday, 11/30/22; there has not been any activity on his phone since,” the statement reads.

“We learned through communications that Ken had gone to classes on 11/28. On 11/29, Ken had breakfast, made a sandwich, and packed it with a change of clothing, his wallet, and his cell phone. Ken left all his belongings at his host family’s home, including his computer, tablet, train pass, and phone charger.”

According to CNN, DeLand is “a senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, who has been studying at the University of Grenoble Alpes.”

His Facebook page says he worked for Senator Pam Helming, studies at Saint John Fisher College, went to Midlakes Schools, lives in Newark, New York, is from Clifton Springs, New York, and is single.

On November 18, 2022, he updated his profile picture and wrote, “Rainbow view of Paris over the Eiffel Tower.” His page contains many pictures of his travels throughout France and Serbia.

2. A Neighbor Said DeLand Seemed Positive & in ‘Bright Spirits’

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Ken DeLand family websiteKen DeLand family website map

The family’s statement says that DeLand spoke with a neighbor of the host family before he left.

“Ken had a conversation with his neighbor outside the host’s house, which was said to have been positive,” the statement says.

“The neighbor said Ken seemed in bright spirits and excited for the day. We are unaware of the entire discussion or if the neighbor was informed he was planning to travel.”

However, the French prosecutor noted that DeLand was dealing with some struggles. “The young man reportedly told several people that he had arrived in France underprepared and was having difficulty making friends,” Grenoble prosecutor Eric Vaillant told CNN.

3. DeLand Has Not Used His Phone or Social Media Accounts Since November 27, 2022

DeLand has gone dark on social media.

“Communication has not happened from his phone or any social media since Sunday, 11/27/2022. According to authorities, Ken has not made contact with any of the friends he has made in France since 11/27,” his family notes.

“However, those that saw him in class on 11/28/2022 said Ken was normal and happy. All students and the host family have provided authorities with text messages and verbal communications. As far as we know, nothing is out of the ordinary.”

The family website noted: “Initially, Ken struggled to fit in and make friends abroad. We learned that he told friends before his disappearance he wished to travel to Marseille before coming home.”

4. DeLand’s Bank Account Shows a December 3, 2022, Purchase at a Sports Store

There is one major clue: A purchase at a sports store on December 3, 2022, using DeLand’s bank account. According to 13WHAM, “Ken was last seen on surveillance video on Dec. 3 at a Decathlon store in Montelimar, France, about a fifty minute train ride south of the university.”

“Ken’s bank was aware of his disappearance and provided authorization to police to track purchases. According to his statements, Kenny made a purchase at a sports store on 12/3/22 in Montelimar at 9 am EST (2:45 pm CEST) for $8.40,” the family’s website says.

“Kenny’s international studies are done on 12/17/22, and his VISA will expire on 1/20/23.”

DeLand’s father told 13WHAM that their last conversation didn’t stand out.

“We were just exchanging how we was doing he has been traveling he has been having a great time in France,” Kenneth Sr. said to the television station. “We just shake our heads, we don’t understand why he is not reaching out to us if he was reaching out on a daily basis or every other day like he was it is just not characteristic of Kenny.”

5. DeLand is On the French Missing Persons List

DeLand’s gave this description for him:

“Ken is roughly 6 ft tall and 190 lbs. Ken was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, grey beanie, blue jeans/slacks, black backpack, and sneakers.”

According to the family, “He is on the French missing person list. If he attempts to leave France via train, his passport will ping. We have learned that you can travel via other means without using your passport.”

The website notes, “We understand Kenny is an adult, and the University, as well as local, national and international police hands, are tied. Neither the U.S. nor French administration can share his whereabouts. What we do know is there is a missing person’s report filed.”

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