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Family of missing Buffalo State student in WNY to search, offering reward

Posted at 11:15 AM, Apr 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-30 20:14:54-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The University Police at Buffalo State requested the public's assistance locating missing student Wednesday.

Police say Saniyya Dennis has been missing since Saturday when she was last seen leaving her residence hall around 11:00 p.m. She may be in the local area or may travel to Yonkers. She may also be in need of medical attention.

Saniyya is a sophomore studying engineering at Buffalo State College.

"This has been the worst four days of my life. I don't want to experience anything like this. I don't wish this on any parent. I just really want to focus on finding her," Latisha Dennis, Saniyya's mother, said.

Saniyya's family has come to Western New York from the New York City area to search for her and are offering a $10,000 reward if someone can bring her home. The family says this is extremely out of character for Saniyya. She's never no called, no showed for work and would never miss a class.

"She attends work on a regular basis. She's never been a no call, no show. She does very well in school. She's always been on honor roll since elementary. She's always been a high achiever. She takes those things very seriously, and this is very much so out of her character," Dennis said.


According to the family, her friends last saw her at brunch Saturday. She texted her mom Saturday that she would call her on Sunday, but never called. There has been no activity on her credit/debit cards and her family believes her phone is dead, but are working with police to see if they can get any more information.

"No activity on her credit cards. No body has seen her. Nobody has heard from her. I'm asking anybody who has seen or heard from her to just let her know we're concerned. We're here," Dennis said.


"This is probably the only one we've ever had where someone has been missing for five days with no contact with family, friends or anybody. There's no activity or information to lead us to her location or at least that they're out there engaging in activity," Peter Carey, the chief of Buffalo State College Police, said.

Chief Carey said police and the district attorney's office have subpoenaed Saniyya's phone records for more information.

"We have no indication of foul play at this time. We're really at a loss to give an accurate representation as to where this student has gone or what activities she's engaged in," Chief Carey said.

Buffalo State Police are asking those with any information about Saniyya's whereabouts call 716-878-6333 or email

"We love her and we miss her. We're just asking if you have her or anybody knows where she's at, please just contact us and return her to us," Dennis said.

During a tense press conference with Buffalo State police, the family of Saniyya Dennis expressed their dismay with the way the investigation into Saniyya's whereabouts has been handled by law enforcement, and asked for the help of Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown in the investigation.

You can watch the entire press conference below.

People in Niagara Falls are holding a search party of Saniyya Friday night.