Kenny DeLand Jr., the American college student who went missing from Grenoble, France, is on a flight back home after he was found alive Friday in Spain.
DeLand’s family did not immediately confirm the reason behind his mysterious disappearance. Friends and family said they had not heard from him since Nov. 27.
It had been reported by French Justice Attaché Florence Hermite that DeLand went to Spain after meeting people who suggested he visit there, she told CNN.
“We are happy it unfolded well before Christmas,” she said, adding that the student was on a flight back to the U.S.
According to Hermite, authorities had worked together to help track down DeLand after his parents reported him missing.
Eric Vaillant, the public prosecutor in Grenoble, France, confirmed to CBS News on Friday that they learned DeLand had been found in Spain.
On Friday, after he told the news network he had just spoken to his son, DeLand Jr.’s father, Kenneth DeLand Sr., abruptly ended a phone interview with CNN.
“He is alive — that’s all I can say,” he said in a message to CNN.
A website that DeLand’s family had launched said he “has been found.”
“We will update you with more information as we get it! THANK YOU to everyone for helping us bring Kenny home!” the message on the website stated.
Kenny DeLand Jr., is a senior at St. John Fisher University in Rochester, New York, and had been studying abroad at the University of Grenoble Alpes.
The woman hosting DeLand Jr. had said she suspected he left voluntarily. However, his parents did not believe her claim and asked French authorities to investigate his sudden disappearance. Vaillant echoed the woman’s claims, saying he likely left the area of his own volition.
Vaillant explained to CNN that DeLand Jr. was last seen in a Decathlon store in Montelimar, 87 miles from Grenoble, on Dec. 3, where he made a transaction. But there were no records of his whereabouts until Friday.
“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 creates all the worry that any parent could ever feel.”