17-year-old Jasmine Benjamin had a bright future ahead of her and dreams of helping others by becoming a nurse like her mother, enrolling in the nursing program at Valdosta State University in Georgia. But just months into her first semester as a freshman and just days before Thanksgiving, Benjamin was found dead at her dorm, Georgia Hall. It was 4:30 p.m. on Sunday November 18 when Benjamin’s body was discovered on a couch in a common study room area
From Death by Natural Causes to Homicide
With no obvious signs of trauma to the body, police initially believed Benjamin died of natural causes. But new undisclosed information from the medical examiner has turned the case into a homicide investigation. An official cause of death is pending as toxicology results are expected in the next few days.
Joint Criminal Investigation
Since Benjamin’s death, Valdosta State University Police Department is conducting a joint criminal investigation along with the Valdosta City Police Department, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the F.B.I. All of the agencies are actively interviewing individuals, including students, collecting and analyzing evidence.
While police say they do not believe this is a random crime or a killer is on the loose, officials at the university are doing everything they can to ensure student safety. Valdosta State is beefing up security by increasing police patrols around residence halls, according to Thressea H. Boyd, Director of Communications. Security cameras are in place in some residence halls, parking areas and other locations across campus, electronic swipe cards are required for entry into residence halls and visitors must sign-in and out.
This is an ongoing investigation and if you have any information that can help solve the death of Jasmine Benjamin, please call the Valdosta Police Department Crime Tip Line at 229-293-3091 or the Valdosta State University Police Department at 229-333-7816. Callers may remain anonymous if they wish.
We Want Justice for Jasmine Benjamin!