Less than a week after being returned to the U.S. after being imprisoned in North Korea, where he fell into a coma, American Otto Warmbier has died. The news comes several days after doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center said that Warmbier’s injuries were the result of a severe brain injury, not botulism as North Korea claimed.
Warmbier’s parents, Fred and Cindy, released a statement confirming their son’s death Monday afternoon.
The statement read, in part:
It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost — future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched — Wyoming, Ohio and the University of Virginia to name just two — that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.
We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto. Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today.
Warmbier was an American college student who was sentenced in 2016 to 15 years of hard labor in North Korea for stealing a political banner from a hotel and being accused of being a U.S. spy.
(via ABC News)