UPDATE 5/6/21 – The authorities believe that Dennis took her own life and have released a statement:
“Yesterday afternoon, members of my office met with the family of Saniyya Dennis to provide an update on the investigation into her disappearance. At this time, we believe that Saniyya traveled alone from the Buffalo State College campus by NFTA bus to Niagara Falls State Park where the evidence suggests that she took her own life during the early morning hours of Sunday, April 25, 2021.
While the Erie County District Attorney’s Office does not typically become involved in missing person cases unless there is evidence of criminality, we assisted in this multi-agency effort to find Saniyya at the request of SUNY Buffalo State College University Police.
My office and our partners in law enforcement have found no evidence of any criminality in this case. All evidence indicates that Saniyya ended her own life, but the investigation into her disappearance will not be closed until she is found.
My thoughts and prayers remain with Saniyya’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Thank you to all who have assisted in the search to find Saniyya. I commend SUNY Buffalo State College, Buffalo State College University Police, New York State Park Police, Niagara Frontier Transit Authority Police, New York State Police, Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo Police Department, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, Niagara Regional Police, New York Police Department, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies who have dedicated their time and resources to this ongoing investigation…”
The search will continue until she’s found. But Flynn says her body may not be able to be recovered.
Original Story: Saniyya Dennis, 19, was last seen on April 24, 2021 on the Buffalo State College campus. Police say she was last seen leaving her dorm on Buffalo State’s campus around 11:00 p.m. Saturday.
She sent her last text message to her mother a little after midnight saying that she would call her in the morning. Her phone last pinged on Sunday at 1:23 a.m. near Goat Island by Niagra Falls State Park. According to Buffalo State police, footage of Saniyya at the bus terminal was found but has currently been unreleased.
UPD Chief Peter Carey said during a news conference that investigators have found no cell phone, electronic or financial activity since Dennis disappeared, but WKBD reported searches have focused on Goat Island, where police say Saniyya’s phone last pinged at 1:23 a.m. Sunday morning. Evidently, further research suggest that the University police didn’t get the information about the ping till after the news conference.
Saniyya’s family expressed dissatisfaction with the investigation.
Police urge anyone with information about Saniyya’s whereabouts call 716-878-6333 or email police at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call the New York State Missing Person’s Clearing House at 800-346-3543.