Darien Joseph Meheux, 18, of Lawrenceville was taken into custody late Thursday night at the Schley County Sheriff’s Office in west Georgia, said GBI Special Agent Steve Turner. Meheux turned himself into authorities after learning that a murder warrant had been issued, Turner said.
Jasmine Benjamin, a 17-year-old also from Lawrenceville, was found dead Nov. 17. Turner on Friday said the cause of death was asphyxiation. He declined to release any additional information.
A private investigator hired by the family said Benjamin’s parents were relieved that an arrest had been made.
“There was always a possibility that no one found out what happened to her,” said investigator Robin Martinelli. “To have a good arrest this quick is good.”
Martinelli said she had spoken with the parents soon after they were notified of the arrest and said Meheux was Benjamin’s ex-boyfriend who also attended Valdosta State. A university spokeswoman confirmed that Meheux was enrolled at the school last fall.
Martinelli said Jasmine Benjamin and Meheux dated while in high school but the relationship ended before they went to college. She said Benjamin’s parents were not aware of any problems between the two.
“There wasn’t a storm brewing that stood out,” Martinelli said. “It came out of nowhere.”
Meheux remained in custody and was expected to be transported to the county jail in Valdosta sometime on Friday, authorities said. It was not known whether he had retained an attorney. There was no immediate word on an initial court appearance.