SODUS, N.Y. (WROC) — A website has been launched by the family of missing St. John Fisher student Ken DeLand, Jr. He was last heard from in November while studying abroad at the University Grenoble Alpes in France.
“We’re worried. We don’t know where he is,” said Ken DeLand, Sr. with his family gathered around his dining room table in Sodus.
He said it was on November 27 that 21-year-old Ken Jr. left his French host family’s home and boarded a train for Valence, France. His phone was pinged by police on November 30. Then on December 3, he entered a local store in Montelimar, but there’s been no contact.
“Allegedly, the story says on the Internet it was an $8.40 transaction. And then we haven’t heard from him since,” said DeLand.
Hour by hour, they’ve tried to reach out to Ken Jr. via phone, WhatsApp, and Facebook. With the authorities on the ground, DeLand says they’ve hit a wall.
“The language barrier can be difficult,” he said adding, “I’ve checked with the embassy. The embassy can’t give out any information, the Privacy Act prevents that from happening.”
DeLand says the act prevents any information about an adult from being released, without that person’s consent. It’s something Ken Jr. did not sign off on before leaving. DeLand says his son isn’t one to go ‘off the grid’.
“Before this, he was in contact with me almost daily,” said DeLand.
The family has launched a website hoping that anyone — stateside or in France — might be able to help. Now, all they can do is wait for whatever news might come of their son’s disappearance.
“At this point — I’m trying to stay positive. We’re all trying to stay positive,” said DeLand.
DeLand said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney has started a Congressional Inquiry for Ken Jr. They have also involved the FBI. If anyone has any information, please leave a tip on the new website located here, or call the Office of Safety and Security at (585) 385-8025.