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Father of Saniyya Dennis pleads for Old Falls Street businesses to submit surveillance footage

Posted at 1:19 PM, May 04, 2021

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The father of missing Buffalo State College student Saniyya Dennis issued a plea to businesses on Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls Tuesday. He's asking them to submit any surveillance footage they may have.

Calvin Byrd, Saniyya Dennis' father, spoke with 7 Eyewitness News and urged anyone who might know anything to come forward. Byrd says he's seen surveillance video that police believe is his daughter walking in Niagara Falls, but it is unclear because the video is from cameras that are far away.

Police believe Saniyya took the bus from Buffalo to Niagara Falls, and her family believes once she arrived, she walked down Old Falls Street to get into Niagara Falls State Park. Byrd is urging any businesses along Old Falls Street to do what they can to help in the investigation. He asked specifically for Flip Burger, Mario's Pizza, the Hyatt Place Hotel, the Culinary Institute and others to see if they happened to catch anything.

"On Old Falls - if you have a camera, and you know that it was on last week, please just submit the footage. We need all the help we can get," Byrd said. "According to the camera that I've seen - we've seen one dot with black clothing. It appears that she was by herself. Whether she was meeting someone in the park or later in the park, is another story. Whatever happens after she's off the camera - that's where the speculation happens. And we're just trying to get to the bottom of it. Whatever the outcome."

No information has been released on why Saniyya may have gone to Niagara Falls State Park, Byrd said he believes she was gong there to meet someone because she took such a late bus and would have needed to find a ride back.

Saniyya has been missing since April 24 when police say she was last seen leaving her residence hall around 11:00 p.m. Her phone last pinged near Niagara Falls State Park 1:23 am.

Her family came 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 search has been centered in the area around Niagara Falls State Park and more than a week after her disappearance the search has entered the national spotlight.

Byrd says every day at noon and 6:00 p.m. a group meets up to look around the park, and they're inviting anyone who wants to help to join them.

7 Eyewitness News tracked the timeline of Buffalo State University Police's investigation Monday.