Valdosta investigators were asking for the public’s help Friday in solving what they are now calling the murder of a Valdosta State University student from Lawrenceville.
Jasmine Benjamin, 17, was found dead Sunday around noon on campus in a study room in Georgia Hall, Valdosta police investigator Maj. Brian Childress told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Monday, based off information from the (GBI) medical examiner’s autopsy, we determined that this was a homicide,” Childress said, noting that the report from the autopsy was not yet complete. “There are some concerns from the medical examiner’s findings.”
Valdosta State police initially responded when Benjamin was found unresponsive. But university police called Valdosta police and the GBI to help with the case.
Police have interviewed some students, but Childress acknowledged that the holiday stymied the investigation. “Monday one of the things that complicated this case was students going home for Thanksgiving,” he said.
Police have been able to pinpoint a timeline leading up to her death but were not able to release that information. Investigators returned to the room where Benjamin’s body was found to search for clues.
“We’ve found some additional items we would consider evidence,” Childress said.
He noted that Benjamin was a popular student. “The fact that she’s in college here doesn’t mean she wasn’t known outside campus,” the investigator said.
Anyone with information about Benjamin’s death is asked to call the Valdosta State University police at 229-333-7815 or the Valdosta Police crime hotline at 229-293-3091, on which anonymous calls are accepted.
“I don’t care how minute it might be, if Jasmine told you something that you think might help us find out who did this, please call us,” Childress said.
The members of the state ethics commission, eager to bring order to one of the most disordered corners of state government, hired a “receiver” last week to heal their agency and then did they only thing they could.
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