Our Idiot Brother actor Matthew Mindler's mother is warning other parents about the dangers of sodium nitrate after the Lancaster County, Pennsylvania medical examiner's office ruled that Mindler's cause of death was sodium nitrate toxicity. Mindler's mother Monica told TMZ Thursday sodium nitrate is easily obtainable online and she hopes her son's story can be a wake-up call. Mindler was found dead on Saturday, Aug. 28, and his death was previously determined to be a suicide. He was 19.
Sodium nitrate is an oxidizing agent used to preserve foods like meat. However, it could cause hypertension and limit the flow of oxygen when ingested. Deaths from sodium nitrate are often accidents, but Mindler's death was not. Monica told TMZ she recently discovered that her son looked up information on the legal compound in relation to suicide. He searched for wats to buy it and how much he needed to take to end his life.
Monica was not aware of her son's plans before he was reported missing from Millersville University in August, she said. She hoped that by sharing her son's story, another life could be saved, especially since sodium nitrate is easily obtainable. A $15 bag that is available on Amazon could be enough to kill four people if ingested, Monica told TMZ.
Mindler was found dead on Aug. 28, two days after he was reported missing and just nine days after he moved into his dorm room. Police found Mindler's body near campus. Before his death, Mindler seemed to be enjoying college, Monica told TMZ in August. She last heard from him on Aug. 24 when she received a text message. She said she kept in constant contact with him before he went missing. On Aug. 30, the Lancaster County Coroner's office told TMZ Mindler died by suicide.
Mindler was a child actor who starred in the 2011 Paul Rudd comedy Our Idiot Brother as the son of Emily Mortimer and Steve Coogan's characters. Mindler was also seen in an episode of As The World Turns and the short films Solo and Frequency. He also acted in sketches for The Late Show with David Letterman and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. His final acting role was in the 2016 TV movie Chad: An American Boy.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.