Otto Warmbier dies from injuries sustained in N. Korea prison


Otto Warmbier, 22, of Wyoming, Ohio, has died from injuries sustained during detainment in North Korea. 

>> Read more trending news 

University of Cincinnati Medical Center released a statement on behalf of Fred and Cindy Warmbier, Monday afternoon. 

“It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m. 

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. 

When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that. 

We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.”

The family thanked the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treating him but said, “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.”

They said they were choosing to focus on the time they were given with their “warm, engaging, brilliant” son instead of focusing on what they had lost.

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor in North Korea, convicted of subversion after he tearfully confessed he had tried to steal a propaganda banner.

The University of Virginia student was held for more than 17 months and medically evacuated from North Korea last week. Doctors said he returned with severe brain damage, but it wasn’t clear what caused it.

Parents Fred and Cindy Warmbier told The Associated Press in a statement the day of his release that they wanted “the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime ” and expressed relief he had been returned to “finally be with people who love him.”

He was taken by Medivac to Cincinnati, where he grew up in suburban Wyoming. He was salutatorian of his 2013 class at the highly rated high school, and was on the soccer team among other activities.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Community offers support as 94-year-old Florida woman arrested during eviction celebrates birthday
Community offers support as 94-year-old Florida woman arrested during eviction celebrates birthday

After spending two nights in jail in Lake County, Florida, on a trespassing charge filed when she refused to leave her apartment during an eviction, Juanita Fitzgerald was glad to spend her 94th birthday somewhere else. Fitzgerald was placed in a Eustis patrol car Tuesday after repeatedly refusing to leave the lobby of Franklin House. At one point...
Women happier after age 85 once spouse dies, psychiatrists say
Women happier after age 85 once spouse dies, psychiatrists say

Marriage is supposed to lead to happily ever after, right? A new report reveals women over 85 are actually happier after their partner dies. >> Read more trending news  The Health Survey for England recently conducted a study to monitor trends in the nation’s health. To do so, researchers surveyed 8,000 British adults to ask them questions...
Here’s why keeping a cell phone too close to your body might be bad for your health
Here’s why keeping a cell phone too close to your body might be bad for your health

Do you sometimes sleep with your cell phone? The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued a warning against it, because the radiation from the devices may be harmful to our bodies. >> Read more trending news  “Although the science is still evolving, there are concerns among some public health professionals and members...
Woman mauled to death by her own pit bulls during neighborhood walk 
Woman mauled to death by her own pit bulls during neighborhood walk 

A Virginia woman was mauled to death by her own pit bulls Thursday while out for a walk with them in her Goochland County neighborhood, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  Victim Bethany Lynn Stephens, 22, was found in a wooded area by her father after he went looking for her when she didn’t return home from the walk, ...
LIVE UPDATES: On verge of big victory, GOP unveils final tax reform details
LIVE UPDATES: On verge of big victory, GOP unveils final tax reform details

GOP nearing huge victory as Republicans unveil final tax reform deal Republicans on Friday evening unveiled the details of a final tax reform compromise, as the drive for approval of a sweeping package of GOP tax reforms gained new momentum, with two key Senators announcing their support for the plan, as party leaders planned...
More Stories