(NewsNation) — A family is pleading for information on a college student who is missing in France.
Kenny DeLand Jr., originally from Clifton Springs, New York, is a study abroad student finishing up a semester at the University Grenoble Alpes in the southeast part of France, near the border of Italy and Switzerland.
His family told Nexstar’s WROC that he got on a train on Nov. 27 and that was the last time they heard from him. Police pinged his phone on Nov. 30 and surveillance video showed DeLand entering a store on Dec. 3.
DeLand, currently enrolled at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, spent $8.40 at the store and, since then, his family said there have been no messages or social media posts, no bank charges or phone pings.
“Before this, he was in contact with me almost daily,” his father, Ken DeLand Sr, told WROC.
The family said they’ve tried texting, Facebook messaging, and using WhatsApp to contact the 22-year-old college student with no success. Deland Sr. told WROC his son isn’t one to go “off the grid.”
“At this point — I’m trying to stay positive. We’re all trying to stay positive,” he said.
They are trying to work with local authorities, but the language barrier makes it difficult. Officials did say DeLand’s passport would ping if he left the country on a train.
The family said the U.S. Embassy can’t release any information because DeLand didn’t sign a release and they are bound by privacy laws.
DeLand’s hometown held a vigil praying for his safe return and his family has set up a website in hopes of getting tips to find him.
His family said Congresswoman Claudia Tenney has started a Congressional Inquiry for Ken Jr. They have also involved the FBI. If anyone has any information, you can leave a tip on the website located here, or call the Office of Safety and Security at (585) 385-8025.