Nov 27, 2012

(AJC) --- Detectives were canvassing the dorms at Valdosta State University and interviewing students Monday, trying to find out all they can about how a 17-year-old freshman from Lawrenceville spent her last hours of life.

The pace of the investigation into the death of Jasmine Benjamin is picking up now that students have returned from Thanksgiving break, police said.

Commander Brian Childress of the Valdosta Police Department said he spoke Sunday to a student who provided a critical piece of information about the case, but he declined to go into detail about that information.

Benjamin’s body was found at 4:30 p.m. Nov. 18 on a couch in a study room at Georgia Hall. Police are awaiting toxicology test results, expected some time in the next two weeks, before they make an official determination on the cause of death. In the meantime they are treating the case like a homicide, Childress said.

Childress said detectives do not believe that Benjamin was the victim of a random crime.

“The university has taken some action to tighten up security, but we do not believe at this point that there is some killer running loose at Valdosta [State] University,” Childress said. “We have a couple of theories about what happened, and we’re trying to tighten it down and talk to additional folks.”

The Lowndes County Coroner has said that Benjamin may have been deceased for 12 to 15 hours by the time her body was discovered. There were no obvious signs of trauma, and investigators initially thought she died of natural causes, said Childress.

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