The disappearance of a Bronx college student was deemed a suicide today by Erie County District Attorney John Flynn. Saniyya Dennis of Buffalo State University was last seen two weeks ago.
“Yesterday afternoon, members of my office met with the family of Saniyya Dennis to provide an update on the investigation into her disappearance,” Flynn said in a press conference. “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.
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.”
According to Flynn, on April 24, Dennis got into an argument with her boyfriend, who lives in NYC. They called and texted one another for half-hour and at the end of the conversation he broke up with her.
She then called him 59 times and he did not respond. They then texted back and forth and among the messages was her telling him “I don’t feel good. Please pick up. I think I’m going to kill myself.” Dennis then said “I finally had enough.”
For the next few hours, she communicated with a friend in NYC and tells him that she plans on committing suicide. They then spoke for another four hours and she states she had reconsidered and is feeling better.
At 11:02 p.m. she was seen getting on an elevator in her dorm and leaving the building. Then cameras see her throw away personal items in a garbage can.
About 10 minutes later Dennis takes two buses to Niagara Falls. After getting off the bus she texted her mom, “I love you, sorry I missed your call, I love you. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
However, things took a turn for the worse when she texted her friend “Sorry I lied. I will not be joining you this summer. Thank you for making my day special.” Dennis then spoke to him again and said she took a bus to an island had planned to jump off a bridge.
At 1:35 a.m. she texted him saying she was on the bus home, but that was sadly a lie. Her last outgoing message was “I’ll let you know when I get off the bus.”
Her phone then leaves the cellular network. Authorities searched for Dennis for 10 days, but never found her.
“Without a body, without an autopsy being done, we’re never going to definitively know,” Flynn said. “I feel awful for the parents. I feel awful that I don’t have a conclusion and I feel awful that I can’t give these parents their daughter.”