Family of missing Fisher student holds out hope

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SODUS, N.Y. – Kenny DeLand Jr.’s whereabouts remain a mystery. The St. John Fisher University senior has been missing in France for more than two weeks.

Every passing hour is taking a toll on the DeLand family, but they are keeping the hope that Kenny will return home safely.

The last known photo the 21-year-old shows him making a small purchase at a sporting goods store in Decathlon, France.

He has been studying abroad in the country this semester as part of the American Institute of Foreign Studies program.

His father, Ken DeLand Sr., last heard from his son on Nov. 27th. It appears that Kenny was traveling to the South of France. French officials are investigating, but he says he’s received few updates due to French privacy laws.

His son was staying with a host family before he abruptly packed a small bag and left their home. DeLand says the woman who owns that home has been talking to investigators.

“From what I understand, she is very cooperative because she allowed the liaison to come over from AIFS to check the room when the investigation began to see what was in the room as far as Kenny’s belongings, DeLand said. “You know, there [were] belongings left in the room allegedly that would lead you to believe he was coming back.”

The family is now trying to raise money so DeLand can head overseas once he gets a passport. In the meantime, the family has launched a website as the search for Kenny continues.

He was to return to the United States on Dec. 17th. “We still pray that he comes home safe and sound for Christmas.”

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