The twenty-two year old student passed away on Monday, in Ohio; only five days after he had returned from North Korea, after being detained there for seventeen months in total.
It was noted by the doctors that Warmbier had experienced brain damage due to “awful torturous mistreatment, while he was detained in North Korea.
In a statement provided to The Washington Post, Gary and his wife, Cindy, said:
“It is our sad duty to report that our son, Otto Warmbier, has completed his journey home. Surrounded by his loving family, Otto died today at 2:20 p.m. It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost — future time that won’t be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man whose curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds. But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person. You can tell from the outpouring of emotion from the communities that he touched — Wyoming, Ohio, and the University of Virginia to name just two — that the love for Otto went well beyond his immediate family.
We would like to thank the wonderful professionals at the University Of Cincinnati Medical Center who did everything they could for Otto. 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.
When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable — almost anguished. Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed — he was at peace. He was home and we believe he could sense that.
We thank everyone around the world who has kept him and our family in their thoughts and prayers. We are at peace and at home too.”
Warbier was sentenced to fifteen years in prison for supposedly attempting to remove a propaganda banner from the hotel that he was staying at. The North Korean media reports that it was due to “hostile act” against their leader Kim Jon UN that Warbier was held hostage and later fell into coma.
President Trump made complete use of Warbier’s death, as an opportunity; to blame former President Barack Obama for being responsible for the death of an American college student. During his news conference at the Oval Office, this Tuesday, Trump has stated that the student “should have been brought home a long time ago.”
“Frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different,” Trump said
On the other hand, Obama spokesman Ned Price said:
“During the course of the Obama Administration, we had no higher priority than securing the release of Americans detained overseas. Their tireless efforts resulted in the release of at least 10 Americans from North Korean custody during the course of the Obama administration.
It is painful that Mr. Warmbier was not among them, but our efforts on his behalf never ceased, even in the waning days of the administration. Our thoughts and prayers are with Mr. Warmbier’s family and all who had the blessing of knowing him.”
Whereas, Axelrod, a former Obama adviser, wrote, “Asked about the death of Otto Wambler [sic], @POTUS can’t resist turning it into a not-so-veiled attack on @BarackObama. It truly IS sad!”
To this, Trump tweeted, “The U.S. once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”