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College student who went missing while studying abroad found in Spain, family says

Ken DeLand Jr., 22, a senior at St. John Fisher University, had last been seen on surveillance footage at a store in France on Dec. 3.
/ Source: TODAY

A college senior who went missing weeks ago while studying abroad in France has been found in Spain and will hopefully be heading back to the U.S. for Christmas, according to his family.

Ken DeLand Jr., 22, was last seen on Dec. 3 in surveillance video in a sporting goods store in Montelimar, France. A statement released on Dec. 16 by the prosecutor in Grenoble, France, and a separate statement by his parents confirmed he has been located in Spain.

DeLand had last contacted his family while studying at the University Grenoble Alpes on Nov. 27, according to a website set up by his parents to find him.

An update on the website said DeLand is safe and that he called his parents in the early hours of Dec. 16.

“Kenny is in Spain, and Carol (his mom) is in France, preparing to see Kenny and hopefully bring him home for Christmas,” his family wrote. “We want to thank all the Media members for their diligence and swift attention in spreading the word about our Son.

“Without the media’s help, Kenny would not have seen himself in the news. Additionally, our fantastic community for rallying together. Without everyone’s help, we wouldn’t have our Son, hopefully, home Christmas.”

Eric Vaillant, the prosecutor of Grenoble, also confirmed DeLand had been located in Spain.

"Mr. Vaillant, public prosecutor of Grenoble, has indeed informed the French press today that Ken Deland had been able to exchange today with his parents," a press officer for the Prosecutor of the Justice Palace of Grenoble told NBC News. "He is currently in Spain. We have no further information at this time.”

DeLand's study abroad program was scheduled to end on Dec. 15 and his visa is set to expire next month, according to his family. He is a senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, according to NBC affiliate WHEC.

The 22-year-old had been in daily contact with someone from his family while studying in France, but the calls abruptly stopped at the end of last month, his father told WHEC.