Otto Warmbier, American detained by North Korea, dies

By Associated Press,
Last Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017, 5:49 PM EDT

Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American student detained by North Korea and released back to the U.S. in a coma, has died, his family said Monday in a statement released by an Ohio hospital.

  • Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years by North Korea
  • Country said he tried to steal a propaganda banner
  • He returned home last week in coma with severe brain damage

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."

President Donald Trump said, "Lot of bad things happened but at least we got him home to be with his parents."

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.