UPDATE: VSU student dies on campus - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: VSU student dies on campus

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VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -

The GBI and Valdosta Police are now involved in the investigation into the death of a Valdosta State freshman.

And for now,  they're treating it as a homicide case.

Authorities initially told us they did not suspect a crime in the death of 17-year-old Jasmine Benjamin.

Now, they say they haven't ruled that out.

Benjamin was found dead on a couch in a study room in Georgia Hall Sunday afternoon.

We're told she may have been dead up to 15 hours.

Investigators may not know the cause of death until a toxicology report comes back in a few weeks.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.


Investigators hope an autopsy will determine why a Valdosta State University freshman died in a study hall in her dorm.

Being a college student can be stressful and exhausting. It's not uncommon to see students taking naps all over campus. Saturday night when 17-year-old Jasmine Benjamin was lying on a couch in Georgia Hall most students thought she was just asleep.

"I have a friend who didn't notice that she had passed and he thought she was just sleeping and he walked away, and he just feels hurt about that, we're going to go check on him now," said Benjamin's close friend, freshman Kim Kelley.

Lowndes County coroner Bill Watson believes she had been dead for 12 to 15 hours but there are no signs of foul play. It wasn't until noon Sunday that a group of students tried to wake her. When she didn't respond they preformed CPR and called 911.

"She was just very sweet, I miss her hugs already; her walking up to me and just saying 'Hey Kim how are you?' Just giving me a hug and always smiling. It's just sad to know that she's gone," said Kelley.

Even though she had only been a Blazer since August, she had a big impact on a lot of students.

"There was no way you could be sad or angry around her, she would make you smile even if you didn't want to, you would just have to smile. She was a very good person," said another close friend, Alex Washington.

The Dean of Students says right now the school is focused on providing counseling to any affected students.

"The university cares and that we are here for them and anything we can do to help them through the grieving process we will do that," said Russell Mast.

Many students said they want the Resident Assistants to do more rounds at night to make sure students sleeping in the study rooms are okay. Benjamin would have been 18 next month.

Campus police are investigating.

Jasmine Benjamin was from Lawrenceville just outside Atlanta.

Copyright 2012 WALB.  All rights reserved.