Nex Benedict Died By Suicide, Says Medical Examiner

The below article discusses suicide and anti-trans violence.

Oklahoma teenager Nex Benedict died by suicide, according to an autopsy report from the state medical examiner’s office released Wednesday.

An early summary of the report indicated that the probable cause of death was the “combined toxicity” of diphenhydramine and fluoxetine, according to the New York Times.

Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine found in allergy medications like Benadryl, while fluoxetine is an antidepressant medication commonly known as Prozac. The full toxicology report will be available on March 27, according to local CBS affiliate KOTV.

Benedict, who friends say identified as transgender and used he/they pronouns, told his mother that he had faced repeated bullying at school due to his gender identity, according to The Independent. On February 7, Benedict and another transgender student were involved in what Owasso Public Schools (OPS) called a “physical altercation” in a statement. Nex’s mother, Sue Benedict, told The Independent that during the fight, Benedict was attacked by three older girls, beaten so badly that bruises formed around his eyes, and hit his head against the bathroom floor.

Sue Benedict took Nex to the Bailey Medical Center that day, where they were interviewed by Owasso Police Department officer Caleb Thompson. In bodycam footage from that interview released on February 23, Nex explains how he was “jumped” by three girls after he threw water on them for bullying him about the way he dressed. In the video, Officer Thompson can be heard explaining that Nex could be found to be at fault for the incident since he “started it.”

The following morning, Nex collapsed at home and was taken back to Bailey Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. He was laid to rest February 15, escorted from the funeral home by members of Bikers Against Child Abuse, The Daily Beast reported.

Benedict’s death led to widespread outcry from LGBTQ+ groups, who condemned the school’s handling of the incident and demanded accountability for the subsequent tragedy. The public scrutiny led the Department of Education to open a federal investigation into the matter earlier this month. The case has also drawn attention to the recent appointment of Libs of TikTok founder Chaya Raichik to a statewide library advisory board despite not living in Oklahoma, with parent groups urging the anti-LGBTQ+ influencer in an open letter to “stay out of our state.”

If you are in crisis, please call, text, or chat with the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988, or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.

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