Autopsy Reveals Nex Benedict’s Death as Suicide

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TL/DR –

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old nonbinary student from Oklahoma, died from suicide after a physical altercation in a school bathroom, according to an autopsy report. The teenager was found with a combined toxicity of diphenhydramine and fluoxetine, an antihistamine used for allergies and a drug used to treat depression, respectively. The incident drew attention from LGBTQ+ groups who cited family reports of Nex being bullied at the school, but it remains unclear whether gender identity played a role in the bathroom altercation.


Nex Benedict’s Death Ruled Suicide, According to Autopsy

16-year-old nonbinary student Nex Benedict from Oklahoma, whose death followed a fight at Owasso High School’s girls’ bathroom, committed suicide, an autopsy report confirmed on Wednesday.

The medical examiner cited “combined toxicity” of antihistamine diphenhydramine and depression drug fluoxetine as the cause. The altercation at school and Nex’s subsequent death at home sparked outrage from LGBTQ+ rights groups, who cited bullying based on family reports.

Nex had reportedly “blacked out” during the fight, and the cause of death remained unknown for weeks. No reports about the bathroom incident were made until after Nex was hospitalized, the Owasso Police Department confirmed.

Emergency medical technicians were summoned to Nex’s home the next day, where they were pronounced dead at the hospital. Until Wednesday’s autopsy report, officials stated only that trauma wasn’t the cause of death.

Investigation Reveals Indications of Suicide

Owasso Police Department officers suspected suicide from the investigation outset. “There were many indications of suicide from the beginning,” said Lt. Nick Boatman. “However, we needed the final results from the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Following Nex’s death, LGBTQ+ activists underscored restrictive transgender laws in Oklahoma. These include bathroom use that aligns with birth sex and barring gender-neutral IDs on birth certificates. Oklahoma is among 23 states banning gender-transition care for minors.

Unsure Role of Gender Identity in Altercation

Whether Nex’s gender identity played a role in the bathroom confrontation remains unclear. Nex’s grandmother and guardian, Sue Benedict, told the police Nex had been mocked for their attire, leading to a physical confrontation.

Benedict added that Nex took anxiety medication but denied illicit drug use, although she admitted Nex had vaped.

School Response and Support

In response to Nex’s death, Owasso school administrators are offering counselling to students and staff. “The loss of Nex is devastating,” said the school superintendent, Margaret Coates. “We understand that the new information may bring up additional emotions for students and staff.”

If you’re experiencing suicidal thoughts, contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for more resources.

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