ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The DeLand family responded after Ken DeLand, Jr. was found safe in Spain last week — saying they are grateful for all the help in locating him.

The 21-year-old St. John Fisher University student was studying abroad in France before leaving his French host family’s home on November 27. He was reported missing days later. It was then said that he entered a store in Montelimar on December 3 to make a transaction. The family launched a website to help in searching for him.

On December 16, Ken DeLand, Sr. — his father — confirmed that his son was found safe in Spain after finally making contact with his son. DeLand Sr. said his son is safe and in good health.

In a statement made by the DeLand family on Tuesday, they expressed their gratitude to everyone who helped in their search for DeLand, Jr.:

“We continue to send our gratitude to the members of our community, the media, St. John Fisher College, and AIFS. The love and support we received while Kenny was missing were beyond measure, and our gratitude could never be enough. Kenny is a joy to many – his family, friends, colleagues, students, parents, and everyone who knows him.

What Kenny went through while he was missing is still a blur, and we, as a family, continue to be with Kenny while he heals and processes. We appreciate all the expressions of love and concern we have received. We are grateful beyond measure to local, state, federal, and international law enforcement for their tireless efforts to find Kenny and bring him home.

We hope that everyone, including media representatives, understands the need for the family to be with Kenny and process what he has gone through in privacy without outside intrusion during this time.

Sincerely,

The Family of Ken DeLand Jr.