Nex Benedict: Nonbinary teen died by suicide, autopsy shows

An autopsy report has revealed that the death of a nonbinary student, the day after a fight inside an Oklahoma high school, restroom has been ruled a suicide. 

The state medical examiner's office issued the report Wednesday.

16-year-old Nex Benedict, who used they/them pronouns, had toxic levels of two drugs in their system and died of an overdose, according to the report. A complete autopsy will be released in 10 days in accordance with state law.

Family members said Benedict had been bullied at school and the teenager's death in February drew concern from LGBTQ+ rights groups, as well as attention from Oklahoma's governor and the White House.

RELATED: Death of Oklahoma student Nex Benedict spurs vigils across the country

"From the beginning of this investigation, Owasso Police observed many indications that this death was the result of suicide," Owasso Police Department Lt. Nick Boatman said in a statement. "However, investigators did not wish to confirm that information without the final results being presented by the Oklahoma Medical Examiners Office."

Boatman would not confirm whether or not police found a note from Nex at the scene.


OKLAHOMA CITY, OKLAHOMA - FEBRUARY 24: Kendra Wilson-Clements speaks during a candlelight vigil for 16-year-old nonbinary student Nex Benedict on February 24, 2024 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Benedict died one day after a physical altercation in an O

Nex was conscious and alert after the fight on Feb. 7 when telling police about the attack by three girls that occurred after the teen squirted them with water, according to police video released last month.

Nex Benedict’s grandmother and legal guardian called police to come to the hospital after the teen was attacked at school in the Tulsa suburb of Owasso. Nex died the next day after their mother called emergency responders to their home, saying Nex’s breathing was shallow, their eyes were rolling back and their hands were curled, according to audio also released by Owasso police.

In the video from the hospital the day of the altercation, Nex explains to an officer that the girls had been picking on them and their friends because of the way they dressed. Nex claims that in the bathroom the girls said: "Something like, 'Why do they laugh like that," referring to Nex and their friends.

"And so I went up there and I poured water on them, and then all three of them came at me," Nex tells the officer while reclining in a hospital bed.

"They came at me. They grabbed on my hair. I grabbed onto them. I threw one of them into a paper towel dispenser and then they got my legs out from under me and got me on the ground," Nex says in the video, adding that the girls then started beating Nex and they blacked out.

In the 911 call on Feb. 8, Nex’s mother, Sue Benedict, expressed concern about a head injury as she described Nex’s symptoms.

"I hope this ain’t from her head. They were supposed to have checked her out good," said Benedict, who remained calm during the call and said she had been to nursing school. Benedict said in a statement on a GoFundMe page set up to help cover funeral expenses that the family was still learning to use the teen’s preferred name and pronouns.

Paramedics responding to the family’s house performed CPR and rushed Nex to the hospital, where they later died.

If you or a loved one is feeling distressed, call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Line for free and confidential emotional support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

CLICK HERE for the warning signs and risk factors of suicide and CLICK HERE for more on the 988 Lifeline.

The Associated Press contributedto this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.