American college student Kenny DeLand missing from French university found in Spain after three weeks

(NEW YORK) — Missing American college student Kenny DeLand Jr. has been found in Spain three weeks after he walked away from the University of Grenoble Alpes and apparently stopped communicating with friends and family, according to a French prosecutor’s office.

DeLand called his father on Friday after last being heard from Nov. 27, according to the Grenoble prosecutor. The prosecutor’s office said DeLand sounded OK.

A website DeLand’s family had launched for information posted Friday that he “has been found.”

“We will update with more information as we get it! THANK YOU to everyone for helping us bring Kenny home!” the message on the website stated.

His family had previously said they last heard from their son on the popular WhatsApp messaging app after he left the home of his host and was headed on a train to Valence, France.

According to his dad, the last time his son’s phone had pinged was on Nov. 30. A surveillance camera captured him walking inside a sporting goods store on Dec. 3.

DeLand Jr. was learning French abroad at the University of Grenoble Alpes through the study abroad program American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS). In the U.S., he was a senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, his parents said.

Grenoble prosecutor Eric Vaillant said earlier this week that Ken DeLand Jr. was having a hard time while living in France and expressed a desire to leave early.

DeLand Jr. reportedly told several people that he arrived in France “insufficiently prepared” and had a hard time making friends, Vaillant said earlier this week. “He was not feeling well. He himself had mentioned that he wanted to leave earlier by going to Marseille.”

He was scheduled to leave France on Dec. 15, according to Vaillant.

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