US Student Kenny Deland Vanishes While Studying Abroad in France, Family Desperate for Answers

Missing Student
Kenny Deland.Deland Family

A New York college senior Kenny Deland has gone missing in France while studying abroad.

A New York family is desperately seeking information about their son, who disappeared in France while studying abroad as a college senior.

Kenny Deland, 22, last spoke with his parents on Nov. 27. He left his host family's home and boarded a train for Valence, France. 

His parents were stunned to learn he had gone missing.

"You don't believe it right away. This isn't happening," mother Carol Laws said of her reaction.

“We’re worried. We don’t know where he is,” father Kenneth DeLand, Sr., told WORC-TV from the family's home in Sodus, a small town about 30 miles east of Rochester.

Deland is a senior at St. John Fisher University and was on a study abroad program in southeastern France at the Université Grenoble Alpes. He was supposed to come home next week for the holidays.

Deland's cellphone pinged on Nov. 30 from the train, his family said. On Dec. 3, surveillance video captured him inside a Montelimar sports store, where he made a purchase of $8.40, according to a family website established to help find their son.

Because Deland is an adult, his relatives said, French and U.S. officials are limited in what information they can share.

"We understand Kenny is an adult, and the University, as well as local, national and international police hands, are tied. Neither the U.S. nor French administration can share his whereabouts. What we do know is there is a missing person's report filed," the family said on its website.

French officials have declared him a missing person.

"If anybody has a way to help us find him, help us with the officials. Please help us," his mother pleaded.

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