Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 20, 2012

GBI probes student’s death

Agent: Foul play not ruled out

VALDOSTA — Authorities haven't ruled out foul play in the death of a Valdosta State University freshman who was found unresponsive on a couch in a study room inside the university's Georgia Hall dormitory at around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, according to officials from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

On Monday morning, VSU President Bill McKinney addressed the VSU community through a press release.

“It is with great sadness that I must inform you of the death of Jasmine Cathleen Benjamin, 17, a first-year student from Lawrenceville, Ga.,” said McKinney. “On behalf of the entire VSU family, we extend our deepest sympathy to Jasmine’s family and friends.”

The VSU police have asked the GBI to investigate Benjamin's passing, according to Special Agent Steven Turner. Though it was initially reported that foul play was not suspected, Turner said no scenarios have been ruled out at this point.

“We're exploring all avenues of death,” said Turner. “So yes, there is still the possibility of foul play. Right now, we're waiting on the results of the toxicology tests.”

Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson confirmed that Benjamin's body was examined at a GBI facility in Macon on Monday morning, and he said her body was being returned to her family in Lawrenceville. Completion of the autopsy is pending the toxicology results, which Watson said could take days or weeks to finalize.

Several students reported seeing Benjamin in the study room at around midnight. Roughly 12 hours later, Benjamin was still in the fifth-floor study room and students were unable to revive her through CPR.

VSU counselors are available for students who need assistance, and may be reached at 229-333-5940.

Anyone having any additional information on this case is encouraged to call the GBI at 229-225-4090.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • EOM July 2014.jpg Sgt. Jonathan Yeargin Honored as July 2014 Employee of the Month

    Valdosta Mayor John Gayle and Fire Chief Freddie Broome honored Jonathan Yeargin as the July 2014 Employee of the Month at the July 10 City Council meeting.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Clay Griner.jpeg Griner wins Lowndes commission runoff

    A long nine-week runoff election between Clay Griner and G. Norman Bennett came to an end Tuesday night with Griner beating Bennett by 1,060 votes, with approximately 70 provisional ballots left to count.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140722-Runoff_Voting003.jpg State Senate District 8 too close to call

    The race for State Senate District 8 appeared too close to call as of The Times print deadline late Tuesday night.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Senate Georgia_Stew.jpg Perdue defeats Kingston in Georgia Senate runoff

    Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in the Republican runoff for Georgia’s U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a matchup against Democratic nominee Michelle Nunn that will help determine which party controls the Senate for the final years of the Obama administration.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • County OKs $1.6 million for water-treatment equipment

    By a divided vote, the Lowndes County Commission approved spending $1,638,000 to purchase two pieces of equipment to improve the county’s water quality as per an agreement with the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

    July 23, 2014

  • Baytree Animal Hospital LB copy.JPG Animal hospital named Business of the Week

    Baytree Animal Hospital was named Leading Business of the Week by the  Valdosta-Lowndes Chamber of Commerce for July 14.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gavel-courtroom.jpg Water treatment plant discussed

    The Lowndes County Board of Commissioners discussed purchasing two pieces of equipment for the Alapaha Water Treatment Plant and the Spring Creek System for a total of $1,638,000 during its Monday work session and is expected to vote on the issue tonight.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • education.jpg Charter school petition denied

    Both the Valdosta City and Lowndes County school boards unanimously denied the joint charter petition from Scintilla Charter Academy during their respective meetings Monday evening.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • echols_alapapa.jpg WWALS gets grant from river network

    The Willacoochee, Withlacoochee, Alapaha, and Little River Systems Watershed Coalition, Inc. (WWALS) received a $500 Alapaha Water Trail Grant from the Georgia River Network

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140718-ARJim2.jpg Teacher at home anywhere in the world

    Variety is the spice of life. South Georgia is home to a diverse group of people, each with a unique life story. One man with glorious tales of travel and selfless volunteer work is Jim Kokoruda.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

School starts again in about two weeks. What do you think?

It's still summer. School starts too soon.
Seems like the right time to return.
Abolish summer recess. Make school year-round.
     View Results