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US student who went missing in France in November located in Spain

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AFP/The Local - [email protected]
US student who went missing in France in November located in Spain
DeLand (21) had told several people he was unprepared for his arrival in France and had struggled to meet people. Photo: Handout

An American student who disappeared in November from his university in eastern France has made contact with his parents from Spain, a French prosecutor said Friday.

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"We have just learned that Kenneth DeLand was able to speak to his parents today. He is thought to be in Spain," Eric Vaillant, chief prosecutor for the city of Grenoble, told reporters.

"No problem" had been reported with his health, he added.

DeLand, 21, was studying French at the University of Grenoble-Alpes as part of an exchange programme with his St. John Fisher University in New York state.

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He was reported missing in late November and French prosecutors opened an investigation on Monday into the "worrying disappearance."

According to his father, DeLand's phone had last indicated his location on November 30th, and he had last been spotted at a Decathlon sports shop in Montelimar, southern France.

In a statement earlier this week, the Grenoble prosecutors' office said DeLand had left the city "voluntarily" after experiencing difficulties at the university.

On his most recent message posted on TikTok, DeLand filmed himself making a Christmas list that included "more friends" and "no depression."

Donald Trump-supporting rightwing group Turning Point USA said that DeLand headed the organisation at St. John Fisher University and had attended several conferences.

In briefings with journalists, the Grenoble prosecutors' office said DeLand had told several people he was unprepared for his arrival in France and had struggled to meet people.

He had been scheduled to leave France on December 15th.

"He said that he didn't want to return to the United States but that he wanted to stay in France," a student in DeLand's French language programme told AFP.

His parents had started a website, FindKenDeLand.com, in the hopes of generating help for finding their son.

On Friday, the site had been updated with a "Kenny has been found" message.

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