The U.S. college student North Korea sent home in a coma last week has died, according to a statement his parents released Monday.
North Korea arrested Otto Frederick Warmbier, a University of Virginia student who visited the North as a tourist, in January 2016 for alleged hostile acts against the state. Pyongyang contends that Warmbier attempted to pilfer a propaganda poster. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in a tearful public trial two months later.
North Korea also tried to claim that Warmbier attempted to overthrow the regime, which his family strongly denies.
He was released last week, but he returned home in a coma, a condition the North Koreans had kept secret. Doctors from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where the young student was receiving treatment, revealed that Warmbier had been in a coma for over a year and suffered “severe injuries to all regions of the brain.”
Warmbier passed away Monday afternoon. “The awful torturous mistreatment of our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today,” the family’s statement read.
He “has completed his journey home,” the statement explained, revealing that Warmbier died with his family.
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