Oklahoma non-binary teen’s death unrelated to injuries from fight in school: police

The school said, "Speculation and misinformation surrounding the case has intensified in recent days."


An Oklahoma high school student who died following a fight in a school bathroom earlier in February did not die of injuries sustained from that altercation. The family is still waiting on answers to understand their child's death amidst a media storm and police investigation into the incident.

"Owasso Police say their investigation revealed the death of 16-year-old Nex Benedict was not related to their injuries after the physical altercation at the school," local news reports. The updated statement from police reads:

"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. At this time, any further comments on the cause of death are currently pending until toxicology results and other ancillary testing results are received. The official autopsy report will be available at a later date."

Dagny Benedict, who the family has said also went by Nex, died after going to the hospital on Feb. 8. Benedicts was involved in a fight with four other students at school in Owasso, Oklahoma the day before she went to the hospital. There were initial conflicting reports as to whether or not Benedict identified as non-binary. 

Local outlet 2 News Oklahoma reported that one parent said that "brain trauma" could have been involved in the child's death after the child left a medical center and passed away the day after the fight. 

The fight lasted approximately 2 minutes and was broken up by others in the school. Benedict had allegedly been bullied leading up to the incident. The school in a statement said, "speculation and misinformation surrounding the case has intensified in recent days."

Benedict and the other students were able to walk down to the principal’s office afterward. Once Benedict was given a medical evaluation by the school nurse, it was determined that no ambulance was required by the school. Benedict was then taken to a medical facility and discharged afterward, according to her grandmother, Sue Benedict, who is also the student's adopted mother, according to the Independent

The next day, Benedict woke up and collapsed on the floor while getting ready to go to an appointment. 

Some reports surrounding the incident have placed blame for it on conservative X account Libs of TikTok and its owner Chaya Raichik, for reporting on a teacher at the school about 2 years ago.

Benedict's grandmother told reporters the family has faced harassment over using Benedict's given birth name "Dagny" in the child's obituary.

The obituary for the 16-year-old student used Dagny instead of the name “Nex” that has been going around in the massive storm of reports about Benedict's gender identity. 

According to the outlet Public Radio Tulsa which interviewed Benedict's grandmother, Sue Benedict, she said, “I just want my child back," in response to everything that has happened.  

In a statement issued on the GoFundMe page set up to cover funeral expenses for the child's death, the family wrote, "We at this time are thankful for the ongoing support and did not expect the love from everyone. We are sorry for not using their name correctly and as parents we were still learning the correct forms. Please do not judge us as Nex was judged, please do not bully us for our ignorance on the subject. Nex gave us that respect and we are sorry in our grief that we overlooked them. I lost my child, the headstone will have correct name of their choice. The rest of monies will go to other children dealing with the right to be who they feel they are, in Nex Benedict’s name. God bless." 

The GoFundMe has raised about $50,000 as of Wednesday morning. 

At the funeral, Sue Benedict said, "She was tough, but a great kid ... I loved Dagny so much." 

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