Authorities believe New York college student Saniyya Dennis, who has been missing for over a week, took her own life by jumping into Niagara Falls.
What are the details?
Dennis, a 19-year-old student at SUNY Buffalo State College, was reported missing on April 26.
But after an “exhaustive” investigation involving no less than 10 law enforcement agencies, officials say the evidence shows the young woman most likely plunged to her death at Niagara Falls after threatening several times to take her own life, the Buffalo News reported.
Just prior to Dennis going missing, she got in a fight with her boyfriend who was in New York City at the time. The boyfriend broke up with her, and she proceeded to call him nearly 60 times in the following hours.
At one point, she texted him, “Please pick up…I think I’m going to kill myself.” She added later, “I’m so done with my own life. I’ve had enough.”
The boyfriend, who is not a suspect in Dennis’ disappearance, never responded.
According to Erie County District Attorney John Flynn, Dennis then spoke for roughly four hours with a male friend in the New York City area, and also told him that she was going to kill herself. The concerned friend called the NYPD to express his worries, but told the authorities at one point that he believed she had reconsidered taking her own life.
Flynn said that around 11 p.m. that night, Dennis was seen on surveillance camera at her dorm throwing away personal items. Over the next hour, she was seen via further surveillance taking a bus to Niagara Falls.
WKBW-TV reported that, according to Flynn, at 12:10 a.m., Dennis texted her mother and said, “I’m sorry I missed your call. I love you. I’ll call you tomorrow.”
Five minutes later, the student texted her male friend in New York and wrote, “I’m really glad we talked today. I’ll forever treasure it. But I’m sorry, I lied. I will not be joining you this summer, at least physically. Thank you for making my day special.”
Dennis was then seen on Niagara Falls State Park cameras walking toward Goat Island.
She posted a photo on Snapchat of the falls, and texted her New York City friend again, telling him that she was on a bus home.
“At that point — 1:23 a.m. — her cellphone leaves the cellular network,” Flynn said during a news conference Thursday.
What happened next?
Since the time she was reported missing two days later, authorities have searched the area using helicopters, drones and dogs. The dogs tracked Dennis’ scent over a railing next to the falls.
“We may never find a body,” an emotional Flynn said at the conference. “That’s a possibility.”
Flynn says he and other officials have determined, “It appears that this poor girl took her own life.”
DA’s Office: Missing Buffalo State student Saniyya Dennis presumed to have taken her own life
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Author: Breck Dumas
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