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Ken DeLand: American student reported missing in France had trouble making friends, he may have left voluntarily

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The American student who disappeared while studying abroad in France was “insufficiently prepared” for life abroad 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 November 27 on the WhatsApp messaging app after leaving his foster family’s home. to take a train to Valence, France. His phone was last rung on November 30.

Grenoble prosecutor Eric Vaillant said in a statement to French media that DeLand appears to have left town voluntarily after struggling to make friends.

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

KEN DELAND MISSING: AMERICAN STUDENT DISAPPEARS IN FRANCE WHILE STUDYING ABROAD

A French prosecutor investigating the disappearance of American student Ken DeLand has said he may have left voluntarily after struggling to make friends.
(findkendeland.com)

Vaillant said DeLand had expressed a desire to leave early for the city of Marseille before returning home to the United States. He was to leave France on December 15.

DeLand’s family has launched a website in hopes of receiving advice on his whereabouts.

“At first, Ken found it difficult to fit in and make friends overseas,” the family wrote. “However, he remained positive and formed a great relationship. We learned that he had told friends in the United States and France that he wanted to visit Marseille before returning home.”

The website said DeLand was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, gray beanie, blue pants, black backpack and sneakers.

The family said he was about 6 feet tall and 190 pounds. They also provided a photo from a surveillance camera of him walking inside a sporting goods store on December 3.

KEN DELAND: FATHER OF MISSING US STUDENT IN FRANCE WARNS OTHER PARENTS TO STUDY ABROAD

DeLand was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, gray beanie, blue pants, black backpack and sneakers.

DeLand was last seen wearing a red jacket, scarf, gray beanie, blue pants, black backpack and sneakers.
(findkendeland.com)

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

According to French authorities, DeLand was reported missing on November 29 after failing to attend classes or being seen by friends or his foster family, which sparked an investigation into his disappearance.

Classmates who saw him on campus the day before said he seemed normal and happy, the family’s website said.

DeLand’s bank authorized police to follow his purchases after learning of his disappearance. He made an $8.40 purchase at a store at 9 a.m. on December 3 in the town of Montelimar, according to his bank statement.

He was learning abroad through the study abroad program called the American Institute for Foreign Study, which said he was “joining others concerned about his safety and we are working with the forces of the local orders that have started a search”.

DeLand was reported missing Nov. 29 after failing to attend classes or being seen by friends or foster family, prompting an investigation into his disappearance.

DeLand was reported missing Nov. 29 after failing to attend classes or being seen by friends or foster family, prompting an investigation into his disappearance.
(findkendeland.com)

“We have been in contact with Kenneth’s family and college and hope for his speedy and safe return,” AIFS said in a statement.

The information the family received through their website was forwarded to the FBI, which is assisting international authorities in the investigation through its office in Paris.

The US State Department said it was “aware of reports of a US citizen missing in France”.

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“When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they conduct their search, and share information with families as we can,” a Department of Health spokesperson said. at Fox News Digital. “The Department of State has no higher priority than the welfare and safety of American citizens abroad. We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to American citizens in need and their families.”

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