Home » Saniyya Dennis: Family Refutes Authorities Suicide Claims
*UPDATE* Following the D.A.’s findings, Saniyya Dennis’s family reportedly released this statement:
“Upon careful review and consideration of the allegations presented by District Attorney Flynn regarding the issues surrounding the disappearance of Saniyya Dennis, we respectfully disagree with his presentation and were shocked by his assertion that he shared information with our family regarding her disappearance and his findings of suicide,” the statement said, according to PEOPLE. The family is reportedly working with the African American Juvenile Justice Project to continue their search efforts for the missing 19-year-old college student.
The relatives of Saniyya Dennis were given grave news this past Wednesday (May 5). The 19-year-old SUNY Buffalo State College student has been missing since the last week of April under mysterious circumstances. Her father, rapper 40 Cal, real name Calvin Byrd, has called on his friends in the Hip Hop community to help spread awareness about his daughter’s case. He has complained that he didn’t feel as if authorities were putting in the best effort to locate the Bronx teen, but on Wednesday, investigators shared the results of their investigation, revealing that they believe that Saniyya Dennis took her own life.
Erie County District Attorney John Flynn spoke at a press conference on Thursday (May 6) and shared that authorities have painstakingly poured over Saniyya’s last moments and believe that she committed suicide.
A detailed account of Saniyya’s phone records was shared by WKBW and follows this timeline of events:
On the afternoon of Saturday, April 24, Saniyya and her boyfriend, who lives in New York City, got into an argument over the phone. In the end, Saniyya’s boyfriend broke up with her, and she called another friend, also in the city, to talk about the fight. Following that conversation, Saniyya reportedly called her ex nearly 60 times. He didn’t pick up.
Saniyya texted the ex-boyfriend, telling him, “I think I’m going to kill myself” and “I’m so done with my own life I’ve had enough.” Her texts went unanswered, so she called him seven more times. Again, she was met with silence.
The news report then states that Saniyya Dennis left campus late in the evening and took a bus to Niagra Falls. She texted a friend: “I’m sorry I lied. I will not be joining you this summer, at least physically… Thank you for making my day special.” Saniyya is then reportedly seen on security cameras making her way to a bridge. She sent a text to a friend saying she would be taking a bus home and she would alert them when she made it back. One minute later, her cellphone was no longer traceable. Investigators stated that either the phone was turned off or was somehow destroyed.
— Hannah Buehler (@HannahBuehler) April 30, 2021
Authorities reportedly gathered the K9 unit to track Saniyya’s movements, beginning with her dorm room. The trained police dogs followed along the same trail that the college student traveled on the evening she went missing, all the way to the bridge. It’s reported that the dogs wanted to jump over the side of the railing and into the water.
“It would always bring me great joy when I would see her with her friends, or when she would update me on how her semester was going, especially during the pandemic,” Saniyya’s R.A. reportedly stated during an online vigil. “This is so heartbreaking, and I’m at a loss for words right now, and I’m going to continue to keep you in my prayers, and I love you, Saniyya.”
Understandably, at the time of this publication, Saniyya’s family has yet to release a full statement. My thoughts are with the loved ones of Saniyya Dennis during what can only be the most devastating time in their lives to date.
If you or anyone you know is contemplating suicide, help is available. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline can be reached at 800-273-8255. Fifteen years ago, they literally saved my life. Take care of each other.
Help Publicize This Case:
Journalist. Activist. Abolitionist. Storyteller. OurBlackGirls.com IG: @xiErikaMarie | @OurBlackGirls on IG, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, Spotify Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, & Anchor FM