Detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department want to question Christopher A. Benton, 27, son of Pepperdine University President Andrew K. Benton, about the death of a 25-year-old Malibu woman approximately one month ago, according to the LA Times .
The body of Katie Wilkins was found in her parents’ garage on West Moon Shadows Drive on the evening of April 28. According to Det. Tim O’Quinn, of the LA County Sheriff’s Dept., Wilkins is believed to have died of a heroin overdose (the results of the toxicology tests are still pending). The car, which had been missing for nearly two weeks after this death, appears to have been located and is being held at a tow yard for fingerprinting, according to the Huffington Post.
Although O’Quinn said the case is considered “non-criminal,” Christopher Benton was the last person to be seen with Wilkins according to surveillance footage from a McDonald’s restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway. The footage showed Benton getting in Wilkins’ passenger seat. Detectives say Benton was the last person seen with Wilkins.
Pepperdine’s Executive Director of Public Relations Jerry Derloshon released the statement below:
“The University regards this as a personal matter. The event occurred off campus and is unrelated to the University. Law enforcement¹s investigation is still on-going. The facts in this terribly sad case will develop over time, but the result will be the same: a young woman lost her life, and her family lost a daughter and a sister. It is tragic for all involved.”
As reported by the Daily Beast, in a statement released to the media, Andrew K. Benton said: “In this case I am just Andy, father of someone who knew Katie and her family. Pepperdine has absolutely nothing to do with this. To suggest otherwise is merely sensationalism. My wife and I hold the Wilkins family in very high regard and are deeply pained by their loss. Illegal substances are a scourge on society and they have hurt many wonderful families in Malibu.”
Benton continued, “If anything, I hope this devastating situation will underscore the damage that drugs have had on some of our best and brightest. I don’t really know anything. Period. I would like to be helpful, but I don’t really know anything beyond what I am reading in the press.”
More information will be added to this article as it becomes available.