A Buffalo State College student named Saniyya Dennis went missing on April 24, according to her family. The Dennis family made a heartfelt plea in late April to the authorities and community to help find the missing student. Saniyya, who was 19 at the time she vanished, had recently had an argument with her boyfriend and the two had broken up, according to friends who attended college with her.
Cell phone records showed that before she went missing, Saniyya called her now-ex boyfriend 59 consecutive times without him answering. Friends who were close to her say she had spoken about taking her own life and that she seemed unstable after the breakup.
On April 24, after an argument with her boyfriend, Saniyya Dennis threw away multiple personal items. She then took a trip to Niagara Falls State Park. Her cellphone pinged off of a tower near the park late on April 24, and she was seen on surveillance footage just after midnight on the morning of April 25 walking through the park.
Authorities confirm that the footage from 12:17 AM are the last time Saniyya is seen on camera, and that the park’s CCTVs did not record her ever leaving the region she is seen walking towards on April 25. Cell phone records indicate that Saniyya received a call from a male friend who was worried about her after her breakup. The two spoke for just under an hour, records show, before Saniyya would send one last text message to another friend.
In the final message, Saniyya claims to have spoken to her mother and to be on her way back to Buffalo. However, neither of these claims were accurate, as Saniyya never spoke to her mother that night and never left the park.
The police investigation and search was impeded by inclement weather over the falls throughout April 25 and 26. By the time the search was fully underway, police feared that Saniyya might not even be in the park anymore.
Pointing to her recent breakup and unusual cellphone activity, authorities assume that Saniyya took her own life by jumping into the falls early on the morning of April 25. Her cell phone left the network shortly after 1:20 AM, leading police to believe that’s when she may have jumped.
Mental health issues are just as serious as any other health issues. If you or someone you know is struggling, there is help. You can always reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.