A missing student who vanished last month is feared to have thrown herself off Niagara Falls after she was dumped by her boyfriend.
Saniyya Dennis’s likely fate was announced by Erie County DA John Flynn on Thursday, a fortnight after she left her dorm at Buffalo State College on April 24.
Flynn told a press conference: ‘It appears that this poor girl took her own life.’
He explained that investigators had come to their conclusion by piecing together Dennis’s final hours, including texts and calls with friends, surveillance camera footage, and pings from her cellphone to nearby towers.
Authorities were able to place her at Goat Island, a small island in the Niagara River, in the middle of Niagara Falls between the Bridal Veil Falls and the Horseshoe Falls, at around 1.30am on April 25.
A K9 search last Friday in the area tracked Dennis to Luna Island, which is located between the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls waterfalls.
Flynn said the dogs wanted to jump over the edge of a railing and into the raging waters to follow her scent.
Although Dennis’ body has not been located, Flynn said investigations have concluded she took her own life.
‘My office and our partners in law enforcement have found no evidence of any criminality in this case,’ he told reporters Thursday. ‘All evidence indicates that Saniyya ended her own life, but the investigation into her disappearance will not be closed until she is found.’
Saniyya Dennis’s April 24 disappearance is feared to have ended in her jumping to her death from Niagara Falls, investigators said Thursday
Police have concluded that 19-year-old Saniyya Dennis (pictured), who went missing on April 24, died by suicide . She split with her boyfriend shortly before her tragic death
Dennis tried calling her boyfriend 66 times on the evening of her death, threatened to kill herself, and shared plans to take her own life during a 45 minute call with a friend
Police combed through Dennis’ phone records, which showed that in the last few hours of her life she had gotten into an argument with her boyfriend.
That led to a break up and confided in a friend that she was suicidal.
Flynn said that starting shortly after noon Dennis called a friend about a break up and after that called her ex-boyfriend 59 times.
He did not pick up, she continued to text ex boyfriend, including a text that said: ‘I’m not feeling good- I think I’m going to kill myself’
After getting no response she added: ‘I’m so done with my own life I’ve had enough.’
At 11 pm on the night of her disappearance Saniyya Dennis (pictured) is seen on surveillance footage exiting her dorm before she walks to garbage can and throws away personal items in garbage can
The family of 19-year-old Saniyya Dennis (pictured) launched an extensive search for the college sophomore after she was last seen on April 24
Dennis went on to call her ex boyfriend seven more times, totaling 66 calls in just a few hours, and later in the afternoon she talked to a male friend in New York City about suicide.
The two would go on to have a four hour conversation that lasted until 10 pm.
The male friend would later tell NYPD that he thought he had been able to talk Dennis out of taking her own life.
An hour later at 11 pm Dennis was seen on surveillance footage exiting her dorm before walking to a garbage can and throwing away personal items in garbage can.
Flynn says the items thrown away led investigators to believe that Dennis had already decided not to return to her room.
Dennis then took several bus rides alone heading towards Niagara Falls.
When she arrived she text her mother ‘I love you- I’ll call tomorrow’ followed by a text to her friend that read ‘glad we talked.’
Surveillance footage then showed her walking towards Goat Island.
She was picked up on park cameras and got a text from a friend a minute later.
At 12:19 am Dennis was last seen on a bridge.
She went on to have a 45 minute conversation on the phone with a male friend from NYC – believed to be the same pal she had spoken to earlier- telling him that she had planned to jump off the bridge, before reconsidering.
At 1 am the following day she was standing by Tesla monument and shared a Snapchat post showing the famous falls. Her phone pinged a nearby tower at 1:05am – confirming her location.
At 1:22 am Dennis sent a friend a final text, saying she was back on the bus.
A minute later her phone left the cell phone network, either because it had been switched off or destroyed.
Saniyya Dennis, (pictured) a 19-year-old Buffalo State College sophomore, called her ex-boyfriend 66 times before police say she committed suicide at Niagara Falls
Flynn said that Dennis’s male friend and ex boyfriend did not initially tell anyone of her text and phone activity that day.
Volunteers, friends and family launched an extensive search operation to help find Dennis after she was declared missing.
At the time Dennis’ father, Calvin Bryd, criticized police for not moving fast enough with the investigation.
‘Why does it take so long to get subpoenas to cellphone records? Why does it take so long to get video footage of buses? If this was somebody else’s kid, I think it wouldn’t have happened like this.’ he said.
Dennis’ parents were informed of investigators findings on Wednesday.
Flynn said it is possible Dennis’ body may never be recovered because they believe her body fell into an area below Luna Island that is full of jagged rocks that her body could be caught in between
‘I feel awful for parent,’ Flynn said.