Actor Matthew Mindler killed himself with sodium nitrate bought on Amazon for $15

Mindler bought sodium nitrate, commonly used to cure meats, which can be fatal when ingested in large quantities


                            Actor Matthew Mindler killed himself with sodium nitrate bought on Amazon for $15
Matthew Mindler had 'crippling anxiety' and bought sodium nitrate for $15 on Amazon to reportedly achieve a painless death (Millersville University)

TRIGGER WARNING: Suicide and suicidal ideation

LANCASTER COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA: Former child actor Matthew Mindler, who starred in the 2011 film ‘Our Idiot Brother’ with Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel, and Elizabeth Banks, died by suicide at the age of 19. He was found dead on, Saturday, August 28, in Manor Township near Millersville University. The cause of death was ruled a suicide at the time. Now, more disturbing details have emerged. 

Mindler reportedly consumed sodium nitrate he bought on Amazon during his first days at university, according to his mother, Monica Mindler. Toxicology tests from the Lancaster County Medical Examiner's Office also found his death was caused by sodium nitrate toxicity. As per reports, Mindler bought sodium nitrate, which is most commonly used to cure meats, for $15 on Amazon in August. When ingested in high quantities, the compound can lead to hypotension and limited oxygen flow in the body, which can be fatal. And as per reports, Mindler died from extremely low blood pressure and a lack of oxygen in the body. 

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Actors Matthew Mindler, left, with Paul Rudd attend The Cinema Society & Altoids screening of The Weinstein Company's 'Our Idiot Brother' at 1 MiMA Tower on August 22, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

While sodium nitrate-related deaths are reportedly often accidental, Mindler's mother said that based on undisclosed evidence, the overdose was intentional. She said the amount of the compound he bought was enough to kill four people. 

Monica had earlier said that Mindler suffered from “crippling anxiety”. While he appeared to be enjoying his first days at college before his suicide, things were clearly not okay. She said that she kept in constant contact with her son when he started Millersville University in Pennsylvania on August 19 to help him deal with the issues he had suffered from for years. At the time, the former child actor assured her he was making friends and enjoying his first week of college, with plans to start a computer programming club and even a job interview for the IT department.

Mindler was reported missing days before his death. The university said in an online statement that he attended classes before he disappeared. Video footage from inside a residence hall showed Mindler leaving his dorm room at West Villages around 8 pm on August 24. School officials said he walked toward a parking lot area and did not return to campus. "Our thoughts of comfort and peace are with his friends and family during this difficult time," Millersville University President Daniel A. Wubah said in the statement at the time. 

Actor Matthew Mindler attends The Cinema Society & Altoids screening of The Weinstein Company's 'Our Idiot Brother' at 1 MiMA Tower on August 22, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

Monica said that she looked up his recent internet search histories, and found that he was looking up information on this lethal compound, ways to obtain it, and take it for the ultimate effect of ending one's life painlessly. Monica said that she was only talking about her son’s methods in the hopes it would be a warning to other families likely unaware of the dangers of the seemingly innocuous substance.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can also speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7 by texting HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

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