• Family hires attorney, PI to help solve student's death


    LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. - The family of a slain Valdosta State student has hired an attorney who has a private investigator working on the case.

    Jasmine Benjamin, 17, was found dead in a study room in her dormitory at Valdosta State University last Sunday.

    Private Investigator Robin Martinelli said she is working in conjunction with the Voldasta Police Department and the GBI to investigate Benjamin's death, but has also started her own investigation as well.

    Benjamin graduated from Central Gwinnett High School earlier this year and just moved onto campus in August to study to become a nurse, just like her mother.

    Benjamin's parents said they were initially told that she died of natural causes.

    Within 24 hours, everything changed when police found evidence that turned the case into a murder investigation.

    Martinelli told Channel 2's Kerry Kavanaugh investigators are working non-stop trying to figure out who killed Benjamin.

    "They are working very hard around the clock, analyzing everything as we speak," Martinelli said.

    Services for Benjamin are scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday at Levett & Sons Funeral Home's Gwinnett Chapel, 914 Scenic Highway, Lawrenceville.

    Anyone with information about the teenager's death is asked to call Valdosta State University police at 229-333-7815 or the Valdosta police crime hotline at 229-293-3091.

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