The family of an American college student who reportedly went missing while studying abroad in France is pleading with the public for help.
Ken Deland, 22, was spending the fall semester of his senior year at the University of Grenoble Alpes, a large university about 90 minutes from the city of Lyon. According to a website maintained by his family, DeLand was living with a host family, and was last heard from on 27 November, when he communicated with his family via WhatsApp.
Deland’s family said they have been in contact with authorities. He has been added to the French missing persons list and his passport will be pinged if he tries to leave the country by train.
DeLand is a student at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York. His international studies are due to end on December 17, and his visa allowing him to live in France will expire on January 20, 2023, his family said.
“We fear the worst and want him to be located,” they wrote on the website, where people can anonymously submit tips or other information about his whereabouts.
Deland was reportedly traveling by train from his host family’s residence to the French city of Valence, about 60 miles from the university where he was studying.
Since then, the only information DeLand’s family has about his location is that his cellphone was reportedly pinged on November 30, and that a small check was made using DeLand’s credit card in downtown Montmiller on December 3. Shopping was done. Montmiller is a small town about 40 miles from Valence, between Valence and the University Grenoble Alps.
His family said there has been no activity on Deland’s social media pages or WhatsApp accounts.
DeLand, who is about 6 feet tall and 190 pounds, was last seen wearing a red jacket, gray hat and blue jeans. The last known image of Deland shows him entering a store, identified by French authorities as the Decathlon sporting goods store in Montélimar.
CBS News attempted to contact DeLand via the phone number listed on his Facebook account, but received an auto-reply that the number “has been changed, disconnected, or is no longer in service.” A short message sent to his WhatsApp account was not delivered.