After initial autopsy reports ruled 19-year-old Matthew Mindler’s death a suicide, new details confirm that he died of “sodium nitrate toxicity.”
According to TMZ, the Lancaster County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that Mindler intentionally ingested the substance. People often use sodium nitrate as a preservative on meats for oxidization. It reportedly causes hypotension and limits oxygen flow in the body when consumed in high enough doses.
And according to Matthew Mindler’s mother, Monica, that’s what occurred. She saw in his internet search history that he researched how he could use sodium nitrate for suicidal purposes.
Monica spoke to TMZ about how this should serve as a warning about the lethal nature of sodium nitrate, and how easy it is to acquire. Apparently, Mindler just bought $15 worth of sodium nitrate off Amazon, enough to kill four people.
And while Matthew Mindler’s mother knew about his longstanding anxiety issues, she never suspected he was suicidal.
Mindler went missing in late August, right around the time his first semester of college started at Millersville University. He left his dorm on the Pennsylvania campus one night and didn’t return. Later that week, authorities discovered his body in Manor Township, according to People.
Millersville University President Daniel A. Wubah spoke about Mindler’s death in a statement shortly after they discovered his body.
“This is a time of grief for the family, our campus, and the community,” his statement read. “I ask that the campus community come together to support each other, and our students, during this difficult time.”
Monica also told TMZ that she’s grateful for the school’s support.
“We appreciate the support, concern, and outpouring of prayers from Millersville University, the students, and the community,” she said. “My heart is crushed and my mind cannot yet fathom this reality.”
Where You Might Have Seen Matthew Mindler Before
Matthew Mindler was a former child actor best known for his work in “Our Idiot Brother,” a 2011 comedy. He starred alongside Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Rashida Jones, Zooey Deschanel, Steve Coogan, and Peter Hermann.
In the film, Paul Rudd plays Ned, a free-spirited guy who gets out of prison on good behavior. He crashes at one of his sisters’ places, and they soon start passing him off between the three of them. Matthew Mindler played Ned’s nephew, River, whom Ned made quite an impression on.
Mindler also appeared in “As the World Turns,” “Bereavement,” “Frequency,” “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver,” “Solo,” and “Chad: An American Boy.” His last acting credit dates back to 2016.
According to Matthew Mindler’s mother, he wanted to study computers and IT at Millersville University, even thinking about starting a compute programming club on campus.