Arrest made in Benjamin caseJan 17th, 2013 | By Amber Smith, Eric Jackson
| Category: 2013-01-17, Campus Crime, News, Spotlight, Spring 2013, Top Headlines
The latest developments in the homicide case of VSU freshman Jasmine Benjamin brings closure to empathizers nationwide.
Eighteen-year-old Darien Meheux of Lawrenceville, Ga., who turned himself in to authorities on Thursday after learning that a warrant had been issued for his arrest, was transported to Valdosta Wednesday morning. The former VSU student is currently being held in the Lowndes County Jail.
On Friday, the GBI announced that Meheux, Benjamin’s former boyfriend, had been arrested in connection with the case.
According to a press release from the GBI on Friday, Meheux was arrested at approximately 11:30 p.m. Thursday at the Schley County Sheriff’s Office in Ellaville, Ga.
“Meheux turned himself into the sheriff’s office after being made aware of a murder warrant which had been taken for him for the death of Jasmine Benjamin,” the release read.
GBI, VSUPD, VPD and Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office officials searched for Meheux in Lawrenceville and Gwinnett County before he appeared 150 miles away in Ellaville.
The release also stated that Meheux’s arrest was “the result of an extensive homicide investigation” by the GBI, VSUPD and VPD.
“I spoke with a representative of the family and they were very pleased with the outcome,” Brian Childress, commander of Valdosta Police Department, said.
The medical examiner’s report listed Benjamin’s official cause of death as asphyxiation.
Merriam-Webster’s Medical Dictionary lists asphyxia as “a lack of oxygen or excess of carbon dioxide in the body that is usually caused by interruption of breathing and that causes unconsciousness.”
This means that Benjamin choked, was smothered, or was somehow otherwise suffocated.
Steve Turner, Georgia Bureau of Investigation special agent, said the 17-year-old was likely strangled.
This news comes to the light months after her body was found on a couch in the fifth floor study room of Georgia Hall.
Initially, no foul play was suspected. However following an early autopsy report, the death was investigated as a homicide.
Although, their courtship ended at Central Gwinnett High (where they both graduated), Meheux followed Benjamin, an aspiring delivery nurse, to VSU.
As a freshman, Benjamin had not yet been admitted to the University’s nursing program.
The University has not released a statement, other than to say that Meheux is no longer a VSU student. He did not enroll for spring semester, according to Thressea Boyd, Director of Communications.
Meheux was also involved in a criminal trespass case in Gwinett County last June.
The GBI’s investigation is still ongoing. Anyone with additional information about this case is encouraged to call its regional office at 229-225-4090.
More details will be added as they become available.