Otto Warmbier dies days after being released from North Korea

Fred Warmbier, father of Otto Warmbier.
(Image credit: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American student recently released from North Korea after 17 months in prison, died Monday afternoon, his family has announced. "It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home," his family said in a statement. "Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m."

Warmbier was in a coma when he was medically evacuated to the U.S. last week. Doctors determined he was in a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" after losing an extensive amount of brain tissue, likely because of a lack of blood flow during cardiopulmonary arrest. North Korean authorities said Warmbier contracted botulism not long after his trial, but doctors in the U.S. said they did not find evidence that he'd suffered botulism.

Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison after he was found guilty of trying to steal a propaganda poster from his hotel room.

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