Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 21, 2012

Police investigate VSU death as murder

VALDOSTA — Authorities are investigating a Valdosta State University freshman’s death as a murder, according to the Valdosta Police Department.

The Valdosta State University Police Department has requested the assistance of the VPD and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation for a cooperative analysis of the case, involving the death of 17-year-old Jasmine Benjamin, according to a Tuesday release from the university.

Valdosta Police Cmdr. Brian Childress said the GBI and VPD proceed with each death as if it were a murder to avoid compromising evidence.

“At this point, we’re treating the case as a homicide,” said Childress. “As we speak, there are multiple VPD and GBI detectives working on this case. Though VSU contacted us for assistance, it should not reflect negatively on them. They’re a campus agency and they don’t deal with death quite as often as we do.”

Childress said a VSU Police Department investigator attended Benjamin’s autopsy on Monday morning, stating that it was standard procedure for a law-enforcement agency to send a detective to an autopsy. However, he said that the autopsy, which still awaits toxicology results, raised more questions.

“There was some information that the medical examiner provided the detective that caused some concern,” said Childress.

Though the medical examination was conducted Monday morning at a GBI facility in Macon, Childress said that the toxicology results could push completion of the autopsy report into days or weeks.

Last Sunday, students were unable to revive Benjamin when they discovered her lifeless body inside of a fifth-floor study room in VSU’s Georgia Hall dormitory at approximately 12:30 p.m. Benjamin had allegedly been on the same study-room couch since midnight the previous night.

Because the case is still active, no additional information can be released at this time. Anyone who has information pertaining to this case is requested to contact the VSU Police Department, (229) 333-7816.

VSU counselors are available for students who need assistance, and may be reached at

(229) 333-5940.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cardiovascular Surgeons.jpg SGMC hires three cardiovascular surgeons

    South Georgia Medical Center has hired three cardiovascular surgeons, according to the hospital Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moody firefighter 2.jpg Moody firefighter feeds burning passion for food

    He can bust down a burning door and save lives from a flaming inferno. If the kitchen survives, he might whip up some elegant blackened salmon.

    July 31, 2014 3 Photos

  • vpd accreditation.jpg VPD receives national reaccreditation

    The Valdosta Police Department received reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and is ready to file for accreditation for the regional crime lab.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fussell Tire & Service to expand into new facility

    An existing business will open a new facility and expand its operations, according to the Valdosta-Lowndes County Development Authority Wednesday.

    July 31, 2014

  • Brown Johnson Solis Cardiovascular Surgeons.jpeg Cardiac, Vascular, Thoracic & Endovascular Surgeons Join South Georgia Medical Center

    The three surgeons will operate a full-time medical practice and professional office named the SGMC CardioVascular Institute.  The medical office, which is located in Suite 230 of the Professional Building which is adjacent to SGMC, will be open 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140729-Gas_Leak002.jpg Roadway closed after second gas line break

    For a second day in a row, workers from Valdosta’s Utilities Department struck a natural gas service line causing a leak that shut down a portion of Forrest Street, officials said.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • dump truck arrest photo.jpg Deputies nab stolen dump truck suspects

    The search for suspected dump truck thieves ended Tuesday afternoon with the arrest of two men in the same area officials searched extensively Monday.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bears sighted on Baytree

    A pair of bear sightings along Baytree Road this week could indicate a growing black bear population in Lowndes County.

    July 30, 2014

  • Johnson family files second suit against school

    Two months after filing a civil suit against Lowndes County Schools, Kendrick Johnson’s parents have filed a second suit against the school system which again claims that negligence and bullying led to their son’s death.

    July 30, 2014

  • Teachers Harvest

    With students and teachers returning to the classroom in the coming days, the need for school supplies is at the top of numerous priority lists. For teachers, this often means spending their money to ensure classrooms are fully stocked.

    July 30, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results