Oklahoma medical examiner rules Nex Benedict's death a suicide

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Oklahoma high school student Nex Benedict died from suicide, the state Medical Examiner’s office ruled Wednesday, ending more than a month of speculation.

The 16-year-old, who identified under the Two-Spirit, transgender and gender non-conforming umbrella, died Feb. 8 after ingesting a lethal amount of antihistamines and antidepressants, according to a summary report obtained by The Hill.

The full medical examiner’s report will be released on March 27, per Oklahoma law.

Benedict, a sophomore at Owasso High School in Owasso, collapsed at home on Feb. 8, one day after they were involved in what the school district and local authorities described as a physical altercation in the girls’ bathroom at school.

Sue Benedict, Benedict’s grandmother whom they called mom, said she took Benedict to the hospital both immediately after the fight and the following day. In body camera footage released last month by Owasso Police, Benedict said they were “jumped” in the bathroom on Feb. 7 by three girls they did not know.

Benedict in the video said they threw water at the girls after the girls made fun of the way Benedict and another student dressed, and the girls responded by punching them.

Sue Benedict in an interview with The Independent in February said Benedict had been bullied at school since at least the beginning of last year.

Benedict’s district, Owasso Public Schools, said in a Feb. 20 statement it followed all its protocols following the fight, including giving the students involved a health assessment by a registered nurse and informing parents of the option to file a police report.

Owasso Police on Wednesday said investigators had long suspected that the cause of Benedict’s death was suicide.

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

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