Nex Benedict

Nex Benedict School Photo Graphically enhanced for artistic purposes by author.
Preferred NameNex BenedictCityOwasso
Other Names UsedDagney Benedict
Age16Gender IdentityGender Nonconforming
RaceWhiteDate of Death02/08/2024

Crime Category: Suicide | Weapon Used: Self-Harm

On February 8th, 2024, Nex overdosed on prescription and over-the-counter medications at home. The preliminary autopsy has determined the death was suicide.

Nex’s death has been highly publicized and is considered controversial. The investigation as of 03/19/2024 is ongoing. Although unrelated to her death, the day prior Nex was involved in a physical altercation with other girls at school. She was seen at the hospital that evening and she overdosed the following day.

Friend: “To me, it doesn’t matter if Nex passed from a traumatic brain injury or if they passed from suicide. What matters is the fact that they died after getting bullied, and that is the story for so many other students. I’ve been close to ending it myself because of bullying. It’s not new for so many students.”

Owasso Police Department: “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. The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s report has now been made public. See Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s report for Cause of Death and Means.

NYT: “A medical examiner’s report said that the teenager had been found with a “combined toxicity” of diphenhydramine, an antihistamine commonly used for allergies, and fluoxetine, a drug often used to treat depression.”

Due to the great amount of controversy surrounding the incident, I’ve included a timeline of articles, videos and other relevant information. A complete autopsy is expected to be released on 03/27/2024.

Nex, her preferred name, was also referred to by her legal name, Dagney. She was known to identify as nonbinary, transgender, gender fluid and other identities. She also used she/her, he/him and they/them, pronouns. For this profile I chose female pronouns for simplicity.

Last Public Update: 03/13/2024

UPDATE 3/22/2024:

Report: “No charges are going to be filed in the death of Nex Benedict, Tulsa County District Attorney Stephen Kunzweiler said Thursday.

The DA’s office said in a release the fight started after two groups of students attending “In School Suspension” antagonized each other in the days leading up to the fight. Kunzweiller said none of the students reported this to a teacher or school administrator.

Witnesses said the fight in the bathroom lasted less than one minute after Benedict poured water over two girls after comments were made about how Benedict laughed.

The ME determined Benedict’s death to be a suicide caused by an overdose and drug toxicity. The ME’s office reported injuries consistent with a fight were externally visible, but no internal injuries that would have caused death.

During the investigation, OPD discovered brief notes written by Benedict. The DA’s statement said the notes appeared to be related to the suicide and did not reference the previous fight or difficulties at school.”

UPDATE 3/27/2024

Report: “Dr. Paul Wax, the Executive Director of the American College of Toxicology, who reviewed the toxicology report at NewsChannel 8’s request said Nex would have to have “taken a lot of pills” to get to the level of concentration found in the blood.

“You can’t say for sure if it was 50 pills or 100 pills” Dr. Wax said. “They found trace amounts of other drugs but it’s a very tiny concentration so that didn’t contribute to the death.”

Tests to check for illicit drugs, like Fentanyl, were conducted, however, according to Dr. Wax, were not found.

The 11 pages released indicate handwritten notes ‘suggestive of self-harm’ were found in Nex’s room by family members, and that the teen has a history of ‘bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety, self-harm (cutting)’.”

Press Release: “The following day, February 8, 2024, the Owasso Police Department was called upon to
investigate the death of Benedict. So too was the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for the
State of Oklahoma. The Medical Examiner’s Office determined that the manner of death was
suicide, and the cause of death was an overdose of diphenhydramine and fluoxetine combined
toxicity (in other words, a combination of Benadryl and Prozac). These drugs are not illegal, and
they were legally available within the home where Benedict resided. The Medical Examiner’s
report noted that superficial injuries (consistent with the fight) were externally visible during the
death examination, but none of which caused or resulted in death. The autopsy of Benedict did
not uncover any evidence of an internal injury (blunt force / trauma related) which caused or
resulted in death.

An important part of the Owasso Police Department’s investigation was the discovery of some
brief notes, written by Benedict, which appeared to be related to the suicide. Although the notes
do not make any reference to the earlier fight or difficulties at school, the parents indicated that
Benedict reported being picked upon for various reasons while at school. The precise contents of
the suicide note are a personal matter in which the family will have to address within the privacy
of their own lives.”

Location: at her home in Owasso, OK, at about 3:00 p.m.

Personal Information:

HRC: “Nex Benedict, a 16-year-old nonbinary high school student, loved nature and watching the television show The Walking Dead. Nex enjoyed drawing, reading and playing Ark and Minecraft. Nex also had a cat, Zeus, whom they loved. Nex’s family trace part of their roots to the Choctaw Nation, and were on a journey to understanding more about Nex’s identity,”

Friends: “They were always someone who was never afraid to be who they are,” Ally said. “It was like wherever they went, you were going to accept them, and if you didn’t, that was your problem, and they were going to make it your problem. They were very confrontational.”

Teacher: “Nex was a fiery kid,” [Tyler] Wrynn said. “He would light up a room and jump to defend any of his friends if they were getting picked on.”

03/22/2024: Dagney Benedict was adopted at age 11. Dagny’s mother shown in the police hospital video is her grandmother. Dagny, going by Roach on Tiktok, listed he/him pronouns. Friends said Dagny went by Nex and Dagny socially.

Nex Benedict Still from Police Body Camera Footage Graphically enhanced by author.

Investigative Report Providing more details into the development of the story by Jeremy Lee Quinn.

Tiktok | X/Twitter | Website


Replying to @Cristina Camacho Part 1 Final NexBenedict” Tiktok documentary. #Owasso #Nex #LGBT A story starts with a call… #tiktok

♬ original sound – Jeremy Lee Quinn

Part 2 of 4. Nex Benedict- Viral Assumptions. Retracing the speculation gone viral. #LGBT #NexBenedict #Nex

♬ original sound – Jeremy Lee Quinn

I wept throughout the edit of this one. Part 4 #Nexbenedict Full Story ⬆️ restinpeace #Nex May your story give others the strength to speak out.

♬ original sound – Jeremy Lee Quinn

Sensitive Information Regarding her abuse. This section contains graphic details. 3.27.2024

The Washington Post on February 21st, 2024: Describing Dagney’s funeral, the article states the family spoke, “along with her mother and Benedict. Nex’s biological mother was among the mourners; their father, who is in prison for abuse, was not.” That last detail may have been more impactful than realized.

On July 17th, 2019, when Dagney was 11 years old, an arrest warrant was issued for James Everette Hughes, Dagney’s father. He was arrested on July 31st, 2019, in Sebastian County, AR. The charge was for rape of a minor under the age of 14, during the time period between May 2017 and August 2017, when Dagney was 9 years old. Among many witnesses was Sue Benedict, who would adopt Dagney in 2019.

Hughes would accept a plea deal to sexual assault in the second degree on November 27th, 2019. He was sentenced to five years in prison with ten years suspended. He would be placed on the sex offender list and have no contact with his daughter. He was arrested again on January 25th, 2024, by the Little Rock Police Department, for failing to comply with reporting as a sex offender, two weeks before Dagney would take her own life.

Hughes’ new case, in Pulaski County, AR, 60CR-24-894: State V James Everette Hughes, was filed on March 5th, 2024, for the offense of failing to register as a sex offender or report address change. His next court date is scheduled for May 2nd, 2024. Hughes’ arrest record can be found here, LRCR-24-389, filed on January 26th, 2024.

Case details are difficult to read, and the following information is graphic. In the report, Dagney, age 11, would tell investigators her father anally raped her when she was 9 years old. She reported he had molested her for years prior.

The case details and documents can be found here, 66FCR-19-560: State V James Everette Hughes, and the Sebastian County AR Inmate Inquiry. Jeremy L. Quinn, a reporter, broke the details of her father in a series of tweets and TikTok videos, which launched this investigation into official records. He provides additional details of family members sharing their experience, including the recent arrest of her father.

The group, Bikers Against Child Abuse, was named as a beneficiary for donations at Nex’s funeral, as reported by Quinn and they provided a funeral procession. He states, “A rep confirmed to me that Nex was “a BACA kid” who would receive support. Fellow survivors in the program get road vests, a road name, and support other survivors.”

Quinn also provided screenshots from Dagney’s aunt, sharing childhood photos and describing the abuse her brother committed, disowning him.

Dagney, referred to as D.H in the files, along with her birth name and the name of a younger sibling, would be adopted by Sue Benedict and relocated to Oklahoma to rebuild her life.

News Timeline: 02/08/2024 | 02/16/2024 | 02/20/2024 | 02/21/2024 | 02/21/2024 | 02/22/2024 | 02/22/2024 | 02/23/2024 | 02/24/2024 | 02/24/2024 | 02/26/2024 | 03/13/2024 | 03/21/2024 | 03/27/2024

Ayer, J., Bates, B., & Maupin, J. (2024, February 8). 16-year-old Owasso student laid to rest after unexpected death – Next Benedict. 2News Oklahoma.

Cash, A. (2024, February 20). Family member shares messages sent by 16-year-old Owasso student day before death – Nex Benedict. Fox 23.

Houghtaling, E. Q. (2024, February 20). Oklahoma Republicans Passed a Bathroom Bill. Now a Trans Kid Is Dead. – Next Benedict. The New Republic.

Hurley, B. (2024, February 21). Oklahoma banned trans students from bathrooms. Now Nex Benedict is dead after a fight at school – Nex Benedict. Independent.

Kerr, S. (2024, February 16). Grieving Nex Benedict: the Brutal Killing of 16 year old Nonbinary Student in an Oklahoma High School. PGH Lesbian Correspondents.

Kliewer, A. (2024, February 24). Owasso police release body camera video, surveillance footage and 911 calls in Nex Benedict case. Koco News ABC 5.

NBC News. (2024, February 21). Oklahoma LGBTQ teen did not die from trauma, police say – Nex Benedict. Youtube.


Owasso Police Department. (2024, February 23). OPD 2024-3316 Community Release – Nex Benedict. YouTube.

Sandoval, E. (2024, March 13). Autopsy Shows Nex Benedict Died by Suicide. The New York Times.

Staff. (2024, February 22). Police, family and Governor’s office release statements addressing death of 16-year-old Nex Benedict. Fox 23.

@unlimited_ls. (2024, February 24). Nex Benedict 911 Call. X.Com.

VP SReports. (2024, February 19). Libs of TikTok targeted a district, then a non-binary student was killed on campus – Nex Benedict. Daily Kos.

Willingham-Jaggers, M. (2024, February 22). The Murder of Nex Benedict is Devasting – GLSEN. GLSEN – Instagram.

Young, M. (2024, February 22). Police: Nex Benedict did not die “as a result of trauma” autopsy shows. The Oklahoman.

Yurcaba, J. (2024, February 26). Oklahoma students walk out after trans student’s death to protest bullying policies – Nex Benedict. NBC News.

Yurcaba, J. (2024, February 26). Friends remember Nex Benedict, Oklahoma student who died after school fight, as ‘fiery kid.’ NBC News.

Kunzweiler, S. A. (2024, March 21). Press Release: Owasso High School Investigation – Next Benedict. Tulsa County District Attorney.

Quinn, J. L. (2024a). Nex Benedict Investigative Reporting Series Pt1. TikTok.

Quinn, J. L. (2024b). Nex Benedict Investigative Reporting Series Pt2. TikTok.

Quinn, J. L. (2024c). Nex Benedict Investigative Reporting Series Pt3. TikTok.

Quinn, J. L. (2024d). Nex Benedict Investigative Reporting Series Pt4. TikTok.

Quinn, J. L. (2024e, March 19). Jeremy Lee Quinn – Investigation into Nex Benedict – Abuse Report. X.

Scripps News Tulsa. (2024, March 21). No charges will be filed in death of nonbinary teen Nex Benedict. Scripps News.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER. (2024, March 8). REPORT OF LABORATORY ANALYSIS – Nex Benedict. Board of Medicolegal Investigations.

Rose, B., & Sharfman, A. (2024, March 27). Nex Benedict Medical Examiner report released, what we’ve learned. FOX 25.

66FCR-19-560: STATE V JAMES EVERETTE HUGHES – Nex Benedict. (2019, December 3). AR Courts.

ARCourts. (2024a, January 25). 1.25.2024 – LRCR-24-389: STATE V JAMES EVERETTE HUGHES – Nex Benedict. ARCourts.

ARCourts. (2024b, March 5). 3.5.2024 – 60CR-24-894: STATE V JAMES EVERETTE HUGHES – Nex Benedict. ARCourts.

Inmate Detail – Hughes, James Everette Booking 2019-00007253 – Nex Benedict. (2019, November 27). Sabastian County AR Inmate Inquiry.

James Hughes – Arrest – 1/25/2024 – Nex Benedict. (2024, January 25). Arrests.Org.

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF MEDICAL EXAMINER. (2024, March 8). REPORT OF LABORATORY ANALYSIS – Nex Benedict. Board of Medicolegal Investigations.

Owasso Police Department. (2024, February 23). OPD 2024-3316 Community Release – Nex Benedict. YouTube.

Rose, B., & Sharfman, A. (2024, March 27). Nex Benedict Medical Examiner report released, what we’ve learned. FOX 25.

Hennessy-Fiske, M. (2024, February 21). Okla. nonbinary teen died after school fight amid reported bullying – Nex Benedict. The Washington Post.

Images are publicly available through public sources, personal posts, family members and information websites as well as stills from cited videos and news websites. Images are digitally enhanced for artistic purposes. All information is accurate to the best of the author’s knowledge at time of publishing. Updates will be made as needed.