Parents Learns of Daughter’s Death Through Facebook
By// Chandler Rollins
Jasmine Benjamin, a freshman at Valdosta State University in Lawrenceville, GA, was found dead on campus on Sunday, Nov. 18. The body of the nursing student was found in the common study area of her dormitory. Police say she died at least 12 hours prior, as passers by thought she was just sleeping on the couch. Authorities suspect foul play and believe her body may have been moved.
To make matters worse, the Benjamin family found out about their daughter’s death on Facebook through a friend’s post. They say that university officials never notified them of her death. In an interview with CBS Atlanta, James Jackson, Benjamin’s stepfather said, “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 hurtful to say the least.”
VSU said it responded according to the university’s standard procedure, which is to notify the law enforcement agency in the hometown of the student’s family. After the university contacted both the police department in Benjamin’s hometown of Gwinnett County and the Lawrenceville Police Department, her parents were informed of her death.
In a statement released Monday, VSU said the school is working closely with law enforcement agencies on the investigation. Valdosta police are awaiting the results of an autopsy report to determine Benjamin’s cause of death. The police are also looking into surveillance footage taken from the dormitory for further clues.