Jasmine Benjamin

Jasmine Benjamin, the 17-year-old freshman at Valdosta State University, was found dead in a study room in her dorm on Sunday, November 18. Despite the odd circumstances surrounding her death—she was apparently found on a couch after being dead for hours–law enforcement authorities were initially slow to label Benjamin’s death a homicide. Now, however, police believe the promising teen was murdered.

News that Benjamin was murdered was another blow to her parents who initially heard about their daughter’s death on Facebook before local law enforcement had the chance to notify them.

“To find out it was a homicide and that somebody actually murdered our daughter changed everything,” James Jackson, Jasmine’s stepfather, said. “It was like hearing the news all over again.”

University officials are asking the public to help them solve the crime, and both the FBI and GBI have joined the investigation. But Jasmine’s parents have been kept in the dark about the details surrounding their daughter’s death.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports:

The grieving parents were still in the dark Saturday about the manner of death, nearly a week after Jasmine was found dead. “They haven’t given us any information – at all,” Jackson said. “We’re getting a lot of the news from media reports.”

The family said it’s also “frustrating” they have heard little from Valdosta State officials. They talked to a dean Monday only when they called to make arrangements to retrieve their daughter’s belongings. They talked to the school’s president briefly the following day, Jackson said.

Benjamin’s parents have hired a lawyer and their own private investigator to find out what happened to their daughter, and are using social media—ironically the same method used to inform them about her death—to find her killer.

Robin Martinelli, the family’s private investigator, said: “We have started an investigation where we are finding anything on social media, and that’s where we need your help. Where any of her friends and family on social media that might want to come forward on any of the accounts meaning Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.”

  • Rachelle

    Wow, this is terrible. Especially for law enforcement to not keep the parents informed.

  • Sasha

    This is just terrible. I am saddened for the way the parents had to find out about their child’s passing. Law enforcement in charge of the investigation should be held accountable and owe these parents an explanation although nothing can bring Jasmine back. So sad.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Wow, my hearts goes out to the parents. What a terrible way to hear about your child’s death especially now since everyone wants to be tight lipped. I know the investigators can’t share everything but they could give general information to comfort the parents and keep them informed. Glad they hired a lawyer and a private investigator because something is not sitting right in this young lady’s death.

  • Mademoiselle

    Thank you for posting this Clutch! I feel horrible for the way her family was notified of what might’ve happened to her. Not to discount anything the police may be doing to get to an answer, but if social media is able to beat them to the punch once, maybe it’ll help uncover the truth as well.

  • Lady P

    My heart goes out to these parents as well. I really feel bad for them. It’s frightening as well. This is the second time I’ve heard of an incident whereas the parents heard of their child’s death via social media.

  • Laina

    My thoughts are with the family. The whole situation is very sad especially at this time of year.

  • EST. 1986

    Same as the other article – All I can do is shake my head.

  • Shirl

    There are 8 comments on this story (to include mine) and 180 some odd comments on The story about Eve dating someone who’s white…makes you say hmmm. I can’t imagine the pain of loosing a child (and pray that I never have to). Sending your babies off is hard enough. My son will be going off to college soon. He can’t understand my being nervous as he’s so excited about being on his own, of growing up…My Heart is with this family. Please know that a lot of us are praying for you.

  • http://www.clutchmagon Tiana

    This girl was one of my favorite cousins and me and the family are still on shock to hear about her about her death. She was such a happy and loving young lady. My heart goes out to her mother Judith and sisters Jayda and janiya she will be missed and never forgotten.

  • http://www.clutchmagonline.com Tiana

    This young lady happened to be one of my dear cousins. Je and the family are still in shock. It is so un believable. I just hope that Judith ( her mom) and jayda and janiya her sisters are able to get to the bottom of it.

  • http://gravatar.com/mimiandy1683 MimiLuvs

    I think it has something to do with the fact that “The Goof Troop” that usually clog up the IR-related articles KNOWS not to come on here and start any mess. They usually like to stick to the Clutch articles where the subject matter concerns BW and sex/statistics/relationships/love/child rearing/interracial/crimes/BM, any topic where they can write dissertations on how to slander (and generalize) BW. It is hard to do such a feat, when the topic is about a slain Black teenager.

  • http://gravatar.com/sbflonnory45 sbflonnory45

    Hello Shirl, my son will be attending college soon too and I am so afraid and nervous for this reason alone, because there are some cruel people in this world. My heart goes out to Jasmine’s family. This is parent’s worse nightmare. College s suppose to be fun and safe.

  • Beautiful Mic

    I wonder what she was studying. I hope they get to the bottom of this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jacqueline.peters.376 Jacqueline Peters

    I hope they find the psychopath who did it isn’t poison mostly a female crime

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