© 2024 Western New York Public Broadcasting Association

140 Lower Terrace
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailing Address:
Horizons Plaza P.O. Box 1263
Buffalo, NY 14240-1263

Buffalo Toronto Public Media | Phone 716-845-7000
WBFO Newsroom | Phone: 716-845-7040
Your NPR Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate Today Banner

As student remains missing, family airs frustration

The family of a Buffalo State College student missing since last weekend has put up a $10,000 reward for information that leads to her safe return. In the meantime, the family of Saniyya Dennis has traveled to Buffalo from New York City, and expressed their frustration Friday over the investigation so far.

Dennis, a sophomore at Buffalo Bronx native, was last seen leaving her on-campus residence hall late Saturday evening. Investigators say the last ping identified from her mobile phone was around 1:20 the following morning near Goat Island in Niagara Falls.

Peter Carey, Chief of University Police at Buffalo State College, explained that no activity had been traced to her phone since. 

"We've spent that time going backwards and trying to find out what was going on in our student's life, what she was doing, what she was, where she was going. In our investigation, once she left campus, we think it's possible that she took the bus."

 Buffalo State President Dr. Katherine Conway-Turner noted that several other police agencies had assisted by checking their own video systems. At the end of the Friday briefing, officials announced they had just been notified by Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police that they'd spotted Dennis on their images. It was not disclosed publicly when and where the image was captured.

Carey said investigators "are exhausting and investigating all possibilities." Family members, however, question that and openly aired their frustration during Friday's briefing. Calvin Byrd, Dennis' father, wondered why it was taking so much time collecting information.

"Why does it take so long to get subpoenas to to cell phone records?" he asked. "Why does it take so long to get video footage of buses? If this was somebody else's kid? I'm just going to put it like that. If this was somebody else's kid, I think it would have happened like this." He snapped his fingers to emphasize his point.

Dennis is a sophomore engineering student at Buffalo State, on the honor roll. Family members say she was a hard-working student, well mannered and showed no indication of any problems.

Anyone with information on Saniyya Dennis’ whereabouts is urged to contact University State Police at Buffalo State College, at (716) 878-6333 or police@buffalostate.edu. Information can also be shared through the University Police anonymous tip line at (716) 878-3166.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
Related Content