Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student who was recently freed back to the U.S. after being held captive in North Korea, passed away Monday, his parents said in a statement.
Warmbier’s doctors said last week that he was in a state of unresponsive wakefulness when he returned to the United States in a medevac.
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“It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home,” the statement read. “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.”
His parents said that when Warmbier returned to Cincinnati on June 13, he was unable to speak, see and react to verbal commands. However, they said the sentiments from his communities — those in his hometown and University of Virginia — showed how many people Warmbier touched during his life.
“He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished,” his parents said of when they were reunited with him. “Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace. He was at home and we believe he could sense that.”