Family searches for student missing in France

(NewsNation) — A family is pleading for information on a college student who is missing in France.

Kenny DeLand Jr. is a study abroad student finishing up a semester at a university in the southeast part of France, near the border of Italy and Switzerland.

His family said he got on a train on Nov. 27 and that was the last time they heard from him. Police pinged his phone on Nov. 30 and surveillance video showed DeLand entering a store on Dec. 3.

DeLand spent $8.40 at the store and since then, his family said there have been no messages or social media posts, no bank charges or phone pings.

“Before this, he was in contact with me almost daily,” said Ken DeLand Sr., Kenny’s father.

The family said they’ve tried texting, Facebook messaging and using WhatsApp to contact the 22-year-old college student with no success.

They are trying to work with local authorities, but the language barrier makes it difficult. Officials did say DeLand’s passport would ping if he left the country on a train.

The family said the U.S. Embassy can’t release any information because DeLand didn’t sign a release and they are bound by privacy laws.

DeLand’s hometown held a vigil praying for his safe return and his family has set up a website in hopes of getting tips to find him.


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