Officials found missing American student Kenny DeLand Jr. in Spain

The American student who went missing abroad in France was found alive in Spain as of Friday, officials said.

Kenny DeLand Jr. he called his parents from Spain early Friday morning and is in the process of being reunited with his mother, Carol, in France, the “Find Ken DeLand” website said. The family thanked the media for informing DeLand that he had been reported missing.

“We are so happy to announce that Kenny is safe,” the statement read. “Kenny is in Spain and Carol (his mum) is in France, getting ready to see Kenny and hopefully bring him home for Christmas.

The student’s father, Kenneth DeLand Sr., abruptly hung up on a call with CNN early Friday and later texted the outlet that his son had been found. Grenoble prosecutor Eric Vaillant said via Twitter that their son spoke to the family on the phone from Spain.

DeLand, originally from Sodus, New York, was living with a host family in Grenoble, France, while studying abroad at the University of Grenoble in the Alps, CNN previously reported. The host’s parents told CNN that he voluntarily left their home on November 29 after struggling to fit in.

His friends and family had not heard from him since November 28, the family website previously reported. They reported him missing on November 29, prompting a massive search by American and French officials. He left that day with a full sandwich, a change of clothes, his wallet and his cell phone. (RELATED: US College Student Goes Missing Abroad. His Host Family Says He Left Voluntarily)

DeLand’s bank authorized police to monitor his purchases, which found he had entered a Decathlon store in the town of Montelimar on Dec. 3 at 2:45 p.m., where he made an $8.40 purchase, according to CNN. Vayan said he reportedly planned to visit Marseille before returning to the US

His parents doubted he had voluntarily left his parents’ residence since he appeared to have made several friends abroad, CNN previously reported. Kenneth said his silence is uncharacteristic of his son, as he has always reached out to them regularly.

He was scheduled to return home Dec. 17 at the end of the semester, the family’s website previously reported.

The family expressed their gratitude to his school, the College of St. John Fisher, the American Institute of Foreign Studies (AIFS), the French Commands and the FBI for helping them find DeLand.

“Without everyone’s help, we would not have our son hopefully home for Christmas,” the statement concluded.

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