Father of student missing in France: ‘It doesn’t add up’

Missing

(NewsNation) — Friends and loved ones have been rallying around Kenny DeLand Jr., the missing 22 year-old senior at Saint John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, who had been studying abroad at a university in southeastern France.

His father, Kenneth DeLand Sr. and his stepmother, Jennifer DeLand, joined NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Monday to discuss any further details and information they have, which, according Deland Sr., has been hard due to bureaucratic laws.

“The Privacy Act — I understand its intent — but in this particular scenario, when studying abroad goes sideways, and your kid goes off the grid for whatever reason that might be it really impedes any progress,” DeLand Sr. said.

DeLand Sr. went on to explain how, although people have been reaching out to give tips, he has not been able to cross reference them with foreign officials to get information in return.

“I spoke with the embassy this morning. There’s no reciprocation, she can’t give me information. If I have information, I’ve been forwarding it to the embassy and to the FBI. But it’s … yeah,” DeLand said.

In a statement to NBC News, the public prosecutor of Grenoble said he opened the investigation into DeLand’s “disturbing disappearance” on Nov. 29 following a report from students that he hadn’t gotten along with classmates well.

“The young man reportedly told several people that he had arrived in France insufficiently prepared and that he had difficulty making friends,” Eric Vaillant, the public prosecutor of Grenoble said, adding that DeLand appeared to “have left Grenoble voluntarily.”

His father, however, maintains that DeLand told them he was going exploring and did not mention having any difficulties of the sort.

“On the break, he traveled to Italy and he traveled by himself. He stayed in hostels and traveled up the coast, down the coast and took a lot of pictures. He was having a great time. And it’s just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t add up to why he would be off the grid,” DeLand said.

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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