April 13, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office Releases Cause of Nex Benedict’s Death

The Full Autopsy Report Will Be Released in Ten Days, Questions Remain

The Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office has released a summary of the full autopsy report after the toxicology report was completed. Their conclusion is that the death of 16-year-old nonbinary Owasso High School student Nex Benedict was a suicide.

Nex Benedict’s death the day after a vicious bathroom fight between Benedict and a trans friend and three other students ignited anger and suspicion throughout the United States and internationally. The Two Spirit non-binary descendant with Indigenous ancestry was taken to the hospital by their guardian after the school failed to call the police, as they were required to, or an ambulance. 

The teen was taken back to the hospital the next day after becoming non-responsive and was pronounced dead. A wave of grief and outrage followed when the story went national, and it was notable that the Owasso Police and Owasso School District did not make statements until the national press took notice, as we reported

According to a summary autopsy report released by the medical examiner’s office, the probable cause of death was determined to be the combined toxicity of Diphenhydramine and Fluoxetine. Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine used to relieve allergies, and Fluoxetine, an antidepressant, were found to be present in Benedict’s system. However, the report did not specify the exact quantities of these prescription drugs. Court documents indicated that Benedict exhibited posturing behavior, with curled hands, rolled-back eyes, and shallow breathing.

Originally, as it was reported by local news sources, the Owasso Police investigating did suspect that the cause of death was foul play. In a body camera recording released by the Owasso Police, the officer stated that the school was required to call the police and report the fight but failed to do so. 

The full autopsy report, anticipated to provide additional details, is slated for release in 10 business days and will be disseminated on March 27 by the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s Office.

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