Police in New York are searching for a 19-year-old college student who disappeared more than a week ago. Saniyya Dennis, a sophomore at SUNY Buffalo State College, was last seen on campus on April 24, authorities said.
Police said she was last seen in the elevator of her dorm around 11 p.m. Her cellphone was later pinged near Goat Island in Niagara Falls, which is located about 20 miles north of campus, CBS affiliate WIVB reported.
The university police department is working with local, state and federal authorities in the search. Dennis has not been in touch with her family and no transactions have been made on any of her financial accounts, CBS New York reported.
“Our one and only goal in this investigation is to locate Saniyya and reconnect her with her family,” University Police Chief Peter Carey said in a statement on Saturday. “Understandably, emotions are high right now, but I want to be clear that our department will not rest until Saniyya is found.”
Police said Dennis, a Bronx native, is 5-foot, 3 inches tall and weighs 125 pounds. They said she has black hair and brown eyes.
“I understand the desire for new details about this case is high, but to ensure the integrity of this multi-agency investigation, we are limited in our ability to share further information at this time,” Carey said.
Local activists are assisting the search by passing out flyers throughout neighborhoods and businesses across Western New York. “They’ve been out here every day as soon as they got into town,” Julia Stevens, of the group Allies for Black Justice, told WIVB. “They have been out here every single day looking for their daughter. They are focused. They are focused on finding her.”
University police are asking anyone with information to come forward and help assist the investigation. Her family is offering a $10,000 reward for any information that helps locate her, CBS New York reported.
Katherine Conway-Turner, the president of Buffalo State College, issued a statement in support of Dennis’ family. “I have had the distinct pleasure of meeting Saniyya — a lovely young woman, honors student, and mechanical engineering technology major with a bright future ahead,” she said in a statement. “My heart goes out to Saniyya’s family, whom we continue to support during this painful time.”
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