A single post turned social networking into a tragic headline when the parents of Jasmine Benjamin learned of their daughters death on Facebook.
The body of the teenager, who was a nursing student at Valdosta State University, in Lawrencville, Ga. was found on campus in the common study room of her dormitory two weeks ago, but police just ruled her death a homicide Monday (Nov. 26).
CBS Atlanta reported that the she may have been dead for more than 15 hours prior to their discovery, while VSU police suspected that her body was moved raising the notion of foul play.
Benjamin's mother and stepfather, Judith Brogdon and James Jackson, found out about the death via a post from one of the 17-year-old's friends on Facebook, and have criticized the university for not informing them of her death.“For someone to be so insensitive not to reach out to the family, or not even to keep up with what's going on because it's a holiday and you're going away on vacation or whatever you're doing – it's very, very hurtful to say the least,” Jackson said.
According to the university, their standard procedure is to contact the law enforcement agency within the hometown of the student's parents. They notified both the sheriff's department in the county in which Benjamin lived, and the Lawrenceville Police Department. It wasn't until after reaching out to both departments, that the parents were informed that Bejamin was killed. “To find out it was a homicide and that somebody actually murdered our daughter changed everything,” Jackson said to . “It was like hearing the news all over again.”
Maj. Brian Childress, an investigator with campus police, said the agency has identified several individuals of interest, but not zeroed in on anyone to arrest. The Valdosta City Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are assisting with case, at the request of the VSUPD.
Investigators are awaiting Benjamin's toxicology results, and police are reviewing surveillance footage taken around the dormitory in search of more clues.
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