Autopsy Shows Nex Benedict Died of Suicide

Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old nonbinary student in Oklahoma who died a day after a physical altercation in a high school girls’ bathroom, died as a result of suicide, according to an autopsy report released on Wednesday.

A medical examiner’s report said that the teenager had been found with a “combined toxicity” of diphenhydramine, an antihistimine commonly used for allergies, and fluoxetine, a drug often used to treat depression.

Reports of the Feb. 7 altercation at Owasso High School, a day before Nex’s death at home, drew outrage from gay and transgender rights groups who cited reports from the family that Nex had been bullied at school.

The cause of death had remained unclear in the weeks that followed. In a police interview conducted at the hospital in the hours following the fight, Nex reported having “blacked out” while being beaten on the bathroom floor.

The Owasso Police Department initially said in a statement on Feb. 20 that no police report had been made about the bathroom incident until after Nex was taken to a hospital by relatives later that same day.

Nex was sent home but the family summoned emergency medical technicians to their home the following day, and Nex was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Until the release of the autopsy report on Wednesday, police officials had said only that preliminary autopsy results showed that Nex “did not die as a result of trauma.”

A lawyer representing Nex’s family did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A spokesman with the Owasso Police Department said that investigators had suspected from the beginning that Nex’s death was a result of suicide, but the department did not want to comment until a medical examiner had conducted a full forensic review.

“From the beginning of this investigation, Owasso Police observed many indications that this death was the result of suicide,” Lt. Nick Boatman said 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.”

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