Autopsy Confirms: Oklahoma Teenager Nex Benedict Died by Suicide

 A 16-year-old from Oklahoma, Nex Benedict, whose death in February drew widespread attention across the US, died by suicide, according to a statement from a medical examiner.

Nex, who identified as non-binary and preferred they/them pronouns, passed away the day after a scuffle in a school restroom, prompting nationwide protests and vigils.

The cause of death was disclosed in a partial autopsy report released by Oklahoma's chief medical examiner, indicating Nex had ingested a combination of medications.

On the day before their passing, Nex was involved in a brief altercation in a restroom at Owasso High School, which was promptly intervened by other students and a staff member.

Although an ambulance was not called, the school nurse recommended further medical evaluation for Nex as a precautionary measure.

In police bodycam footage from an interview at the hospital, Nex mentioned being targeted before the altercation "because of the way that we dress."

After returning home, Nex's mother contacted emergency services on February 8, reporting shallow breathing and eye rolling. Nex was later pronounced dead in the hospital.

Initially, authorities refrained from providing details about the cause of death, stating only that preliminary autopsy information indicated it was not due to physical trauma.

However, on Wednesday, police confirmed they had suspected suicide throughout their investigation but awaited the autopsy report for confirmation.

A comprehensive autopsy report is expected to be released in 10 days.

Reacting to the news, Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond expressed sorrow over Nex's death and raised concerns about the possibility of bullying playing a role.

Following the incident, the school district did not confirm whether Nex had experienced bullying related to their gender identity.

Superintendent Margaret Coates of Owasso Public Schools described Nex's death as "devastating," emphasizing the district's commitment to student and staff well-being.

Critics have condemned Oklahoma laws prohibiting students from using school facilities that do not align with their assigned sex at birth, expressing worries about the targeting of LGBTQ individuals.

Advocacy group Freedom Oklahoma highlighted increased hostility towards the LGBTQ community, which they attributed to state laws and associated rhetoric

After news of Nex's passing spread, vigils were held in over a dozen US cities to honor their memory.

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