Family of missing Buffalo State College student pleas for help

19-year-old Saniyya Dennis missing since April 24

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - The family of 19-year-old Saniyya Dennis is pleading for help from the community as the search continues to find the Buffalo State College student who was last seen on April 24.

Their frustration was displayed in a plea for the public to help by alerting authorities to any information and in an uncomfortable confrontation with SUNY Buffalo State administration and police late Friday.

"Nothing is insigniificant," a family member said Friday at the college. "No detail is too small. If you saw her walking on the bus. If you can't remember what day it was. If you can't remember what you thought she might have been wearing. If you overheard her saying something...please reach out to anybody at all."

Buffalo State's University Police Department said Dennis was last seen on campus leaving her residence hall around 11 p.m. She is a Black woman who is 5-feet-3-inches tall, weighs approximately 125 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes.

Dennis is a Bronx native. Authorities believe she may need medical attention and believe she may be still be in the Western New York area or have traveled to Yonkers.

"There is no evidence of foul play at this time," University Police said on Wednesday. "University Police has circulated her information statewide to police agencies and hospitals through the New York State Missing Persons Clearinghouse."

Anyone with information is asked to contact (716) 878-6333 or police@buffalostate.edu. Information can also be shared through the anonymous tip line at (716) 878-3166. You can also call (800) 346-3543.

In a second news conference held later Friday afternoon, college officials outlined the timeline of Dennis' last known appearance. Authorities are continuing their investigation. Cell phone records obtained by police last placed her near the Goat Island area of Niagara Falls on Monday.

The family returned and were frustrated about the investigation. They took aim at Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.

"Where's the mayor at?" Dennis' father, Calvin Burr, asked. "He's Black. I guess that don't matter. My daughter is a Black, honor roll student at the college and has no tendency of doing nothing. We're all baffled with what's going on. The fact that he's not here speaks volumes."

During the press conference late Friday afternoon, the Dennis family openly challenged campus police and the SUNY Buffalo State President for not acting quickly enough in launching a search and not working to gather video evidence from the NFTA and other sources.

During the press briefing, both the family and press learned from campus police that the NFTA had located video of Dennis and that was being reviewed Friday evening.

Mayor Brown was expected to meet with the family on Friday evening.

SUNY Buffalo State
The family of Saniyya Dennis challenges law enforcement during a press conference at SUNY Buffalo State Friday Photo credit WBEN Photo