A Bronx-born Buffalo State College student who has been missing since last month is believed to have taken her own life at Niagara Falls following an argument with her boyfriend, authorities said Thursday.
Nineteen-year-old sophomore honors student Saniyya Dennis was last seen leaving her college dorm on April 24.
The teen had an argument with her boyfriend that day that led to him breaking up with her, Erie County District Attorney John Flynn told reporters.
Dennis called her boyfriend, who was in New York City at the time, 59 times in the next several hours, but he didn’t pick up.
She then sent a text telling him she planned to kill herself, Flynn said.
“I’m so done with my own life, and living it,” the text read, according to WIVB. “I’ve finally had enough.”
Flynn said Dennis was “troubled by the breakup” and later contacted another male friend in New York City, also telling him she had planned to commit suicide.
The teen spent hours on the phone with Dennis and “talked her down” from her plan at one point, but she apparently followed through on her threat after hopping on a bus to the Niagara Falls Visitor Center.
Dennis texted her mother at Niagara Falls, telling her she would call her the next day, but also sent a message to a friend indicating she wouldn’t see him this coming summer, Flynn said.
Bloodhounds later picked up the teen’s scent during an April 30 search on and around Goat Island, Flynn said, where she was seen on video early April 25.
“It appeared that this poor girl took her own life,” Flynn said, adding that her body had not been recovered as of Thursday.
“Some are going to say without a body, do you definitively know that she took her own life?” Flynn continued. “No … all I can do is present you everything I have.”
Flynn said he provided details of the investigation to Dennis’ parents Wednesday.
“I feel awful for the parents,” he said. “I feel awful that I don’t have a conclusion, obviously.”
Flynn said investigators will not “definitively know” what happened to Dennis until her body is found and an autopsy is conducted.
“There is a possibility … that we may never find a body,” Flynn said, adding that Dennis may gotten caught in the “jagged rocks” near Niagara Falls.
The teen’s parents, meanwhile, had demanded answers last week on why more wasn’t being done to find the missing mechanical engineering major, the Buffalo News reported.
Her cellphone last pinged on April 25 at 1:23 a.m. in the area of Goat Island in Niagara Falls State Park, police said.
“Why does it take so long to get subpoenas to cellphone records?” said Dennis’ father, Calvin Byrd. “Why does it take so long to get video footage of buses?”
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