On April 30th, former Dipset rapper 40 Cal (government name Calvin Byrd) took to social media to ask for help finding his missing daughter, Saniyya Dennis. Dennis, a 19-year-old student at Buffalo State University, was last seen leaving her dorm on April 24th. Byrd has been in the Buffalo area for the last week in hopes of finding her.
During a news conference on Thursday (May 6th), Erie County District Attorney John Flynn told reporters that after reviewing phone records and surveillance videos, he believes Dennis died by suicide. “It appears that this poor girl took her own life,” Flynn said.
According to reports, Dennis got into an argument with her boyfriend in New York City on April 24th. After attempting to contact him 59 times without answer, she reportedly called another male friend in New York City and talked about killing herself. After leaving her dorm room, Dennis reportedly went to an on-campus garbage can, where she threw away “personal items that would lead someone to believe that she was not returning to the dorm.”
Dennis added that video from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority shows Dennis riding two different buses toward Niagara Falls. At around 12:18 AM, the friend Dennis called sent a text saying that he’d call police if she didn’t call him in 30 seconds. He then called her and the two talked for about an hour. Dennis reportedly told the friend that she was on the bus returning home, which the District Attorney said was false.
Dennis’ cellphone reportedly left the network on about 1:20 AM on April 25th, meaning the phone was either destroyed or powered off. On April 26th, Dennis’ family reported her missing to Buffalo State Police, prompting the investigation.
“I feel awful for the parents,” Flynn said. “As a father of five, this is difficult.”
According to Buffalo State police, Dennis’ phone last pinged near Goat Island. 40 Cal has been critical of the police’s efforts so far, even meeting with the city’s mayor Byron Brown to discuss the case. At a press conference on Buffalo State’s campus on Friday afternoon, the family expressed their frustration at the search, raising questions about the speed of the investigation, arguing that the police should have done more.
“It was a good meeting with the parents, but obviously they are deeply concerned with the whereabouts of their daughter, and the parents are here in town from New York City to do every single thing that they can to aid in the investigation,” Brown said.
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