Family of missing Buffalo State student calls for community’s help, offers reward for student’s whereabouts

Local News

BUFFALO N.Y. (WIVB) – The family of Buffalo State student Saniyya Davis, who’s been missing for almost a week, is urging the community and police officials to help them find her

“This has been going on for 6 days. My niece is missing. We need her found immediately,” said Saniyya’s uncle, Khalil Abdus-Shahid. Saniyya’s family traveled from NYC to help in the efforts to find her.

The 19 year-old college student has been missing since Saturday. According to university police, the Saniyya was seen on video in the elevator of her dorm building at Bishop Hall around 11 p.m.
She then could be seen walking towards Elmwood avenue.

NFTA officials told Saniyya’s family during a news conference Friday that there is video of her traveling Saturday night. Which explains why at 1:15 a.m. Sunday Saniyya’s phone was pinged near Goat Island in Niagara Falls. Where she went or what happened after that is unclear.

News 4 Reporter Sarah Minkewicz

“Since that day, there has been no cell phone or electronic activity, no financial activity, no other communication with family or friends from our missing student,” said Buffalo State University Police Chief Peter Carey.

Saniyya’s family says it’s not like her to go missing like this and to not talk to her family.

“She’s a creature of habit, she doesn’t miss class, she doesn’t miss work,” Saniyya’s sister Keyora Dennis said. “She communicates with her family. We are a very close family-oriented group. This is just not like my sister. Very much out of character.”

“We’re all devastated in my family,” Abdus-Shahid said. “This is a young scholar, with a future as bright as the sun and we’re all suffering because she’s gone missing from her place of studies.”

The family is hoping people come forward to help narrow down the search efforts.

“No detail is too small. We just want my sister home safe and sound,” Keyora said.

“I need for law enforcement to get more involved. I need them to do more, I need them to get out there more and search for my child. She’s been missing now for 6 days. I need her to come home,” Saniyya’s mom Latisha Dennis said.

State police, NFTA police, the sheriff’s office, and state park police are among the agencies involved in the investigation.

The family of Saniyya Dennis made their plea here on campus today, begging for help finding to find the 19-year-old and begging police to use everything they’ve got. Friday night, people desperately looking for her followed the facts so far to Niagara Falls.

Posters plaster Niagara Falls State Park. Saniyya Dennis’ picture is on every park sign, many poles and more. About two dozen people looked for her in the park Friday night and hung up signs.

That’s because police last pinged her phone around 1 o’clock Sunday morning on Goat Island.

News 4 Anchor and Reporter Erica Brecher

The family is offering a $10,000 reward for information that leads to Saniyya’s whereabouts.

Sarah Minkewicz is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.

Erica Brecher is an anchor and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2018. See more of her work here.

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