The family of 40 Cal’s missing daughter are convinced the college student is still alive—despite what authorities concluded.
Days after Saniyya Dennis was reported missing last month, the Erie County District Attorney’s office announced the 19-year-old appeared to have died by suicide. DA John Flynn told reporters that investigators came to the conclusion after reviewing surveillance footage and phone records, as well as speaking to multiple people who claim Dennis had expressed her intention to kill herself on the day of her disappearance.
“An exhaustive search and review of the evidence has been done and it appears that this poor girl took her own life,” Flynn said at a news conference earlier this month. “Without a body, without an autopsy being done, we’re never going to definitively know. All I can do is present you with what I have and what I presented … everything that I had … to her parents.”
Dennis’ family, however, has rejected the DA’s ruling.
“Upon careful review and consideration of the allegations presented by District Attorney Flynn regarding the issues surrounding the disappearance of Saniyya Dennis, we respectfully disagree with his presentation,” the family wrote in a statement published by New York Amsterdam News, “and were shocked by his assertion that he shared information with our family regarding her disappearance and his findings of suicide.”
According to the NYAN, the family has challenged some of the evidence that has led investigators to believe Dennis killed herself after traveling to Niagara Falls. The family claims they’ve yet to see video footage of Dennis leaving the Buffalo State College campus, and were only shown a photo still. They also say a number of business near Niagara Falls have refused to release their security cameras that may have captured Dennis traveling in the area the night of April 24.
“We made a request for five companies on Old Falls by telephone, email and social media,” said Sherri Jefferson, the executive director of the African American Juvenile Justice Project. “We went to ask for assistance for surveillance videos and no one contacted us to say they had a video. Nothing. I gave a list of the 10 small hotels because I thought, ‘If she’s abducted, then she might be at some of the smaller hotels. That’s where they bring a lot of the girls for sex trafficking.”
A spokesperson for the Erie County District Attorney said authorities are still searching for Dennis, but insist all evidence suggests she died by suicide.
“The New York State Park Police continue to conduct physical patrols searches in the area twice a day, “ the spokesperson said. “Also, they are also conducting aerial searches as the weather permits.”
40 Cal previously offered a $10,000 reward for anyone who provided information that lead to his daughter’s return. The Harlem-born rapper has remained inactive on social media since the DA announced its ruling.