Kenny DeLand Jr., the American student who went missing more than two weeks ago in Grenoble, France, is alive, his father Ken DeLand Sr. told CNN on Friday.
DeLand Jr. is in Spain, French Prosecutor Eric Vaillant told CNN, adding only that the young man had spoken Friday with his parents.
DeLand Jr.’s father had been in the middle of a call with CNN when he suddenly hung up. He later messaged CNN to report “good news” — and he’d just spoken with his son.
“He is alive — that’s all I can say,” he told CNN.
Deland Sr. did not elaborate on what his son told him and did not explain where his son has been for the past two weeks.
A senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, DeLand had been studying at the University of Grenoble Alpes, according to his family. His parents in recent days said they had not heard from him since November 27.
His fellow students reported him missing on November 29, and an investigation was launched, Vaillant had said.
The woman who had hosted DeLand in France thought he may have left voluntarily, she told CNN before he was found — a claim echoed at that time by a French prosecutor.
But the young man’s parents didn’t believe that was the case, and his father as recently as Wednesday decried what he called a response from authorities that was not sufficiently urgent.
Interpol on Thursday issued a Yellow Notice for DeLand Jr., saying he went missing on November 27. Such notices are issued to help locate missing persons, often minors, or to help identify anyone who cannot identify themselves, according to Interpol.
DeLand has been scheduled to return to the US on Saturday, his father said before he was found, adding though the student liked to go hiking, he would always keep in touch.
“For him to not reach out, with no correspondence, this is very uncharacteristic of my son,” DeLand Sr. told CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday. “This is what creates all the worry that any parent could ever feel.”
“As time goes by, it makes you worry even more.”