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What happened to Otto Warmbier?

What happened to Otto Warmbier? (WKRC)

CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Otto Warmbier's brother has released video of Otto filmed just days before he was arrested in North Korea in 2016.

The clip shows the college student smiling, laughing and having fun.


Warmbier was studying abroad in China when he joined a tour group in North Korea. He was detained at the airport and sentenced to 15 years hard labor for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.

A team of doctors at University of Cincinnati Medical Center discussed his condition Thursday, two days after Warmbier was flown in to Lunken Airport in a coma.

Dr. Daniel Kanter, University of Cincinnati Health, described Warmbier as being in a state of unresponsive wakefulness. "He has not spoken, he has not engaged in any purposeful movements or behaviors," said Kanter.

North Korean officials say Warmbier fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill in March 2016. UC Health doctors say they see no evidence of botulism. They say he suffered extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain as a result of cardiopulmonary arrest. Doctors say that usually happens after intoxication or trauma. They say aside from some MRI images and lab results from North Korean medical personnel that accompanied Warmbier, they're not exactly sure what happened to him.

Warmbier's family didn't learn about his medical condition until last week. They're pleased he's now being treated by the team at UC Medical Center. They don't want information about his prognosis released just yet. For now, they're glad to finally have their son back.

"I'm so proud of Otto, my son, who has been in a pariah regime for the last 18 months, brutalized and terrorized and he's now home with his family," says Fred Warmbier.

President Trump called the family Wednesday evening. Fred Warmbier says he was gracious and concerned about Otto's condition. Warmbier credits the Trump administration for bringing Otto home.

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