The nearly three weeks that American study abroad student Ken DeLand Jr. spent missing in Europe have remained “a blur” in the days since the upstate New Yorker resurfaced in Spain and reunited with his family, loved ones said Tuesday.
DeLand, 21, reunited with his mother on Saturday in Lyon, France, after he called his parents from Spain one day prior, loved ones and officials have said. His family released a statement on Tuesday thanking the community and those who assisted while he was missing, and added: “What Kenny went through while he was missing is still a blur.”
“Kenny is a joy to many – his family, friends, colleagues, students, parents, and everyone who knows him,” the statement reads. “[W]e, as a family, continue to be with Kenny while he heals and processes.”
READ THE FULL STATEMENT BELOW:
It was unclear on Tuesday if DeLand was still in Europe, or when he would be returning to the U.S. No additional details regarding DeLand’s whereabouts and activities during his time missing have been provided.
The St. John Fisher University student was studying abroad at the University Grenoble Alpes in Grenoble when he was last heard from on Nov. 28, his family said. He was reported missing the next day after he did not attend class, and his host family and friends had not heard from him.
He called his parents from Spain, after spotting himself in media reports, his family said at the time.
“Without the media’s help, Kenny would not have seen himself in the news,” his family said in a post announcing that DeLand had been located on Dec. 16.
“Kenny is in Spain, and Carol (his mom) is in France, preparing to see Kenny and hopefully bring him home for Christmas,” the post continues. It later adds: “Without everyone’s help, we wouldn’t have our Son, hopefully, home Christmas.”
The 6-foot, 190-pound college student, who is originally from Sodus, New York, was spotted on surveillance footage at a sports store in Montelimar, France, around 2:45 p.m. local time on Dec. 3, when he made a purchase of $8.40.
An Interpol Yellow Notice was issued shortly after DeLand was reported missing in France.
DeLand had been expected to complete his study abroad program one day after he was located safe.
Fox News’ Ashley Papa contributed to this report.