SLED agents investigating death of student at College of Charleston

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 2:56 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Agents with the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division are investigating the death of a student at the College of Charleston.

Charleston County Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal identified the student as 19-year-old Benjamin B. Wills III from Bethesda, Md. The cause of death is currently pending.

O’Neal said Wills died on Monday morning at 111 Wentworth Street which is the location of the Glenn McConnell Residence Hall. An incident report states that the college’s department of public safety responded to the hall for a medical call at 10:28 a.m. Then at 10:53 a.m., EMS medics pronounced the victim deceased at 10:53 a.m.

SLED officials said they were requested to investigate by the College of Charleston Department of Public Safety Chief Chip Searson. College officials cited the Jessica Horton Act in which public colleges and universities in South Carolina are required to notify SLED if there is a death on campus, and SLED then leads the investigation.

College officials provided the following letter that was sent to the campus community regarding Wills’ death.

Dear Campus Community,

It saddens me deeply to share with you the news of the passing of our student, Benjamin “Ben” Wills. Ben was a first year student from Maryland.

Even in just this first year, Ben made strong connections across campus and will be deeply missed by friends in his fraternity, residence hall, and classes. His friends described him as smart, funny, friendly, and kind. His faculty described him as highly engaged in his course work. Ben is survived by his parents, Tim and Stacey, and by his sister, Maggie, along with many other family members and friends. We ask that you please keep Ben’s family and friends in your thoughts during this most difficult of times.

We know grief over losses like this affects all of us differently. Please find attached a resource sheet, which includes contact information for our Counseling Center along with self-care strategies.

A community is a community because its members turn to each other for support during trying times. Losing close friends and fellow students is always difficult and brings forth sorrow. Our community exudes care and compassion through each individual member and through its organized resources. Please remind one another about the number of resources available, and encourage each other to utilize them.

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