CHARLESTON, South Carolina (WCBD) – The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is investigating the death of a 19-year-old College of Charleston student.

Charleston County Coroner Bobbi Jo O’Neal identified the student as Benjamin B. Wills III, of Bethesda, Maryland.

O’Neal said the 19-year-old died Monday at the Glenn McConnell Residence Hall off Wentworth Street.

The cause of death is pending.

College of Charleston Department of Public Safety Chief Chip Searson requested SLED to investigate the matter in accordance with the Jessica Horton Act. It requires public colleges and universities in South Carolina to notify the agency if there is a death on campus. 

Alicia Caudill, Executive Vice President for Student Affairs at the College of Charleston, released a message to the campus on Tuesday which said:

“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.”