An Ohio coroner said Wednesday that Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old University of Virginia student imprisoned in North Korea for more than a year, died from lack of oxygen and blood to the brain.
Warmbier died June 19, just a few days after he was released from North Korean custody and sent back to the United States while in a coma; North Korea said he fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill. Hamilton County Coroner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said his death was caused by an unknown injury that happened more than a year before he died, adding, "We don't know what happened to him and that's the bottom line." Warmbier's family requested that just an external examination, not a full autopsy, be conducted.
A native of Wyoming, Ohio, Warmbier visited North Korea in late 2015 as part of a tour group, and state media said he was arrested after he tried to take a propaganda poster from his hotel; he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. On Tuesday, his father, Fred Warmbier, told Fox News his son had been tortured and it "looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth." President Trump later tweeted that Warmbier had been "tortured beyond belief by North Korea," but Sammarco said there was no evidence of any trauma to his teeth or broken bones, Reuters reports.