Trans teenager Nex Benedict didn’t die as a result of trauma, Police say

The 16-year-old was reportedly involved in a fight in a school bathroom the day before they died, in which they suffered head injuries.

An image of Nex Benedict. They smile at the camera and hold up a peace sign with their fingers. They wear a black t-shirt and black-rimmed glasses.
Image: @the_transit_guy via X

This article has been updated on February 27, 2024. Since it was first written, new information has emerged confirming that Nex Benedict was trans.

In the latest update on the case of Nex Benedict, a trans teenager who passed away a day after being involved in a physical altercation at an Oklahoma school, Police say they “did not die as a result of trauma”. The 16-year-old was reportedly involved in a fight in the girls’ bathroom of Owasso High School on February 7, in which they suffered head injuries. The next day, the teenager collapsed in their home and was pronounced dead in hospital.

In a statement published on Facebook, the Owasso Police Department wrote: “While the investigation continues into the altercation, preliminary information from the medical examiner’s office is that a complete autopsy was performed and indicated that the decedent did not die as a result of trauma.”

Authorities did not provide any further clarity on the cause of death, stating that additional information is “pending until toxicology results and other ancillary testing results are received.”

The police department concluded the statement confirming that the investigation is still ongoing.


According to Nex’s biological grandmother and adoptive mother Sue, the teenager had been bullied since 2023. In this recent incident, Sue was summoned to the school to find Nex badly beaten with bruises on their face and eyes and scratched on the back of their head. The student reportedly told their mother that they and another transgender student had been involved in a fight in the girls’ bathroom when they were knocked to the ground and hit their head.

The physical altercation was reportedly broken up by other pupils who were present in the bathroom, as well as a staff member who was supervising outside. All students involved “walked under their own power to the assistant principal’s office and nurse’s office” to give statements and receive physical assessments.

It was determined that ambulance services were not needed, but recommended that Nex visit a medical facility for further examination. Sue then took their child to the Bailey Medical Center in Tulsa County for treatment, where they spoke to a police school resource officer before being discharged.

The following day, the teenager collapsed in their living room and was rushed back to hospital, where they were later declared dead.

The story began receiving widespread global attention this week, with a statement issued on behalf of the family on Wednesday, February 21, reading: “On February 7th, 2024, the Benedict Family sent their child, Nex Benedict, to Owasso High School, trusting, like any parent or family member should be able to, that it was a safe environment for their loved one. Millions of parents across America make the same decision each and every morning. While at Owasso High School, Nex was attacked and assaulted in a bathroom by a group of other students.

“A day later, the Benedict’s beautiful child lost their life,” it continued.

“Many of the questions posed by friends, family, media and other concerned citizens are also top of mind for those left to honor Nex’s memory. While various investigations are still pending, the facts currently known by the family, some of which have been released to the public, are troubling at best. We urge those tasked with investigating and prosecuting all potentially liable parties to do so fully, fairly and expediently.”

It added that the family are independently interviewing witnesses and collecting evidence and urged officials “to join forces to determine why this happened, to hold those responsible to account and to ensure it never happens again.”

The family then expressed their appreciation for the outpouring of support they have received and requested privacy while they grieve.

“The Benedicts know all too well the devastating effects of bullying and school violence, and pray for meaningful change wherein bullying is taken seriously and no family has to deal with another preventable tragedy,” the statement said.

The incident in which Nex Benedict was allegedly attacked comes after Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt passed a law in 2023 banning trans students from using the school bathroom that matches their gender identity.

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