Family Learns of Student’s Death on Facebook

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The family has yet to learn the possible timeframe of when their daughter died, and police have not shared any theories about how she was killed, Stubbs said.

“We know that they have looked at the phone records, video records that they can find in the school,” he said. Beyond that, they’ve been going through legal procedures that are required to obtain records from Facebook Inc.

The family hired Martinelli Investigations Inc. of Lawrenceville to assist in the investigation.

Private investigator Robin Martinelli said Wednesday that any video near the scene, even if may seem insignificant, could prove helpful in the investigation.

“It wouldn’t matter if it was two weeks before, two hours before or 20 minutes before,” she said.

Martinelli said she’s confident that police are working diligently to follow up on leads, but private investigators can often provide valuable assistance, she said.

“On any homicide, they’re going to work around the clock aggressively every minute, and they’re doing that,” she said.

She said Jasmine Benjamin was a strong student who showed great potential. “Her favorite color was purple, her nickname was Jazzy,” she said.

“She wanted to help people, plain and simple,” her stepfather, James Jackson, told WSB-TV. “That was her goal in life. That’s all she talked about since she was young — ‘I want to be able to help people.'”

Valdosta State campus police, city police and the GBI were working together to conduct interviews and collect evidence, the university said in a statement Tuesday. University officials said they couldn’t release any further information.

Martinelli hopes students away at college keep in touch with their parents — and give them the passwords to social networking sites and their cell phones in case anything happens.

“If you have passcodes to your computer, your phone, please tell your parents,” she said. “Don’t tell everybody in the world, but tell your parents your passcodes.”

She said some of the best advice parents can give students is this: “They should listen to their gut,” she said. “If they walk into a situation and it’s not feeling right, leave.”

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