GBI makes arrest in local Valdosta State student's death

After a months-long investigation, an arrest has been made in the death of a Valdosta State University student.

Jasmine Benjamin, 17, was found dead in a study room in her dormitory at the school in November. She was a graduate of Central Gwinnett High School and had moved onto the college campus to study to become a nurse, like her mother.

"She wanted to help people plain and simple. That her goal in life that's all she talked about since she was younger. I want to be able to help people," Benjamin's stepfather said.

Late Thursday night, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation arrested 18-year-old Lawrenceville resident Darien Joseph Meheux, Benjamin's ex-boyfriend. The pair went to high school and college together. Meheux turned himself in in Ellaville after being made aware of the murder warrant taken out for him, the GBI said.

Benjamin's parents said they were initially told that she died of natural causes, but within 24 hours, everything changed when police found evidence that turned the case into a murder investigation.

According to the GBI, Benjamin's official cause of death was asphyxiation.

According to reports, several students saw Benjamin in the study room in Georgia Hall around midnight Nov. 17. Twelve hours later she was still in the study room, but at that point, she was unresponsive.

After the arrest, Benjamin's family released a statement saying, "We would like to thank the GBI and the Valdosta police on the arrest of Darien Mehuex .We are grateful for everyone's prayers and concerns, and we ask at this time that everyone respect the family's privacy."