Trending Topics

DA Says Missing New York College Student Committed Suicide, Family Says Facts Have Been ‘Strongly Disturbed’ In Effort to Close the Case

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn announced on Thursday that the 19-year-old college student who disappeared from Buffalo State College last month committed suicide after getting into a fight with her boyfriend that ended in a breakup.

Saniyya Dennis was last seen on April 24 leaving her dorm room.

According to Flynn, after the fight, Dennis told her boyfriend and another male friend that she was planning to commit suicide.

The parents of the teen, Latisha Dennis and Calvin Byrd, former Dipset rapper 40 Cal, learned of the news on Wednesday after spending days searching for their missing daughter and offering a $10,000 award for information leading to her discovery.

According to Flynn and a timeline provided by Buffalo State Police and New York State Park Police, Dennis tried contacting her boyfriend after their mid-day argument, and told him she planned to take her own life.

She then told her male friend during a four-hour phone call that she was feeling better than before and was reconsidering her prior plans to commit suicide.

After the phone call, Dennis threw personal items in a campus trash can. Flynn did not specify what the personal items were but said they seem to indicate that Dennis did not plan to return to her dorm room.

“It appears this poor girl took her own life,” Flynn said.

Saniyya Dennis, a 19-year-old Bronx native and sophomore at Buffalo State, was last seen on April 24. (Photos: @40Cal/Instagram)

After 11 p.m. the student’s bus card was swiped at a nearby bus station. Dennis then got on another bus and got off close to the Niagara Falls Visitor Center.

Dennis then sent a text to her mom, telling her she would give her a call the next day, and to a friend, whom she told she would not see this summer.

Cameras last captured Dennis at 12:17 a.m. on April 25, standing on the bridge along Goat Island Road.

A friend of Dennis texted her, saying he’d call the police if she didn’t call her. He called and they spoke for 45 minutes. During the conversation, Dennis said she was going to jump off the bridge.

A 1 a.m., Dennis took a selfie that showed Niagara Falls behind her. She then texted a friend that she had talked to her mom and was heading back to Buffalo, although cellphone records show that she hadn’t spoken to her.

About 20 minutes later, her phone was either turned off or destroyed.

The boyfriend who ended the relationship with Dennis was in New York City and is not considered a suspect.

Bloodhounds were alerted to the teen’s scent on April 30, and led to a location along the water’s edge of the Hell’s Half Acre rapids just upstream of the American side of Niagara Falls. The search for her body continues, but Flynn said it’s possible it won’t be recovered.

The teen’s family apparently does not accept the authorities’ conclusions.

A woman who said Dennis was a sister said on Facebook that the facts of the situation had been “disturbed to paint a picture and close the case.”

Keyora Breeon added, “We will never stop looking. Never.”

What people are saying

Back to top