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Autopsy Shows Oklahoma Student Nex Benedict Died by Suicide

The death of 16-year-old transgender teen Nex Benedict has been ruled a suicide, according to a partial autopsy report released on Wednesday. Benedict, an Oklahoma high-school student who family and friends say used he/they pronouns, died on February 8 after he was allegedly attacked in a school bathroom. In the wake of his death, LGBTQ+ activists and allies have gathered to grieve the loss of Nex and to protest an ongoing wave of anti-trans legislation by Oklahoma legislators.

According to NBC News, Benedict’s adoptive mother told police that Nex had been bullied for months because of his gender identity. Video footage from a hospital Nex visited after the altercation shows him telling an officer that three students “jumped” him after they made fun of his clothes. The Owasso Police Department previously said in a preliminary report that it had not ruled out trauma from the alleged fight as a cause of death.

The new medical examiner’s report, according to the New York Times, states that the teen had a “combined toxicity” of the antihistamine diphenhydramine — commonly known as Benadryl — and fluoxetine, an antidepressant known as Prozac, in his system. It is currently unclear how much of each substance was found by examiners. Local CBS affiliate KOTV reported that the full toxicity report is expected to be released on March 27.

“From the beginning of this investigation, Owasso Police observed many indications that this death was the result of suicide,” Lt. Nick Boatman told the Times in the statement. “However, investigators did not wish to confirm that information without the final results being presented by the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office.”

“The loss of Nex, a member of the Ram Family and the Owasso community, is devastating,” Dr. Margaret Coates, superintendent of Owasso Public Schools, told the Cut in a statement Wednesday. “We understand that the information released today may bring up additional thoughts, feelings, and emotions for students and staff members … As we mourn together, OPS remains focused on the safety and well-being of our students and staff.”

The Benedict family’s attorney and a spokesperson for the Owasso Police Department did not immediately respond to the Cut’s requests for comment.

In the U.S., the national 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline can be reached at 988 (call or text) or (chat).


  • What We Know About the Death of Oklahoma Teen Nex Benedict
  • Police Give Update on Oklahoma Nonbinary Student’s Death

Emily Leibert , 2024-03-13 23:02:13

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