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Family of missing Buffalo State student demanding more answers

Family of missing Buffalo State student demanding more answers

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News conference with family of missing Buffalo State College student

Chief of University Police Peter Carey speaks to the media next to Latisha Dennis, the mother of missing student Saniyya Dennis on Friday, April 30, 2021 at SUNY Buffalo State College campus.

The family of a SUNY Buffalo State College student missing since April 24 demanded to know why more isn't being done to find the young woman at a news conference on the campus with College President Katherine Conway-Turner and Chief of University Police Peter Carey.

Saniyya Dennis, 19, who is originally from the Bronx, is a sophomore at Buffalo State where she is studying mechanical engineering.

Surveillance cameras in an elevator in her dorm and then just outside her dorm show her leaving and heading toward Elmwood Avenue just after 11 p.m., Carey told reporters at a news conference Friday.

Police also located a ping on her cellphone at 1:23 a.m. Sunday in the area of Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park.

"We haven't had any information in six days. Not one sighting. No electronic communication, no financial activity, no communication with any family," Carey said.

Saniyya Dennis missing.jpg

SUNY Buffalo State student Saniyya Dennis.

Conway-Turner listed all of the police agencies that are assisting the college police department with the investigation, from the Buffalo Police Department and the Erie County Sheriff's Office to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority Police, the State Police and the State Parks Police.

But Dennis' father wanted to know why it was taking so long for all of these police agencies to find more images and to do a more thorough search.

"Why does it take so long to get subpoenas to cell phone records? Why does it take so long to get video footage of buses?" said Calvin Byrd, Dennis' father.

Just before the news conference began, the family said, they learned that a K9 search had been conducted that day.

And then as the news conference was concluding, the police chief volunteered that he had just learned from the NFTA that they had located some kind of video footage. The police and college staff ended questions and took the family aside to give more details in private.

Maki Becker

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Chief of the Breaking News/Criminal Justice Desk

I've worked at The Buffalo News since 2005. I previously worked as a reporter at the New York Daily News and the Charlotte Observer and was a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

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