About a week ago, Valdosta State University freshman, Jasmine Benjamin, 17, was found dead in one of the university’s study rooms 15 hours after her death had actually occurred. Losing a child at any time is obviously difficult, but what made a terrible situation so much worse was how Jasmine’s parents learned of her death. According to Global Grind, Judith and James Jackson, parents of the deceased, were never informed by their daughter’s university that she had passed away. Instead, they read about it on Facebook.
“That’s the most disturbing part of it,” Jasmine’s step-father, James, shared with CBS Atlanta. ”Aren’t there RAs? What kind of school is this that they don’t know someone’s laying on the couch – to go check on them after a certain amount of hours?”
Even more disheartening is that when the Jacksons were able to speak with authorities they were initially told that the aspiring nurse had died of natural causes, only to be later notified by police that her death was being investigated as a homicide due to evidence that was revealed during the medical examiner’s autopsy.
“To find out it was a homicide and that somebody actually murdered our daughter changed everything. It was like hearing the news all over again,” James told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
According to the Associated Press, investigators shared that it will be a few weeks before the full autopsy is complete and Jasmine Benjamin’s death can be officially confirmed as a murder. Most of the teen’s friends say that they last saw her on November 16th; however no one has actually come forward with information as to why someone would have wanted to kill her.
“It hurts, [you're] angry because you just don’t know,” James told WSB. “The questions that you have, who, what, when, and why and how? All that’s not answered and you’re trying to have a funeral…there’s a campus with 12,000 people on it and no one knows what happened to our daughter.”
Our prayers certainly go out to the Benjamin-Jackson family. Valdosta investigators are urging the public to come forth with any information that may assist in the investigation. “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,” said Maj. Brian Childress, an investigator with campus police.
Jazmine Denise is a writer living in New York. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise