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Otto Warmbier's Public Funeral At Wyoming High School

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Update June 20, noon: A public funeral service for Otto Warmbier is scheduled for Thursday June 22 at Wyoming High School at 9:00 a.m.

Burial will be at Oak Hills Cemetery, according to Spring Grove which owns that cemetery.

Original Post June 19: Otto Warmbier died Monday afternoon surrounded by his family. The Wyoming High School graduated returned to Cincinnati in an unconscious state last week after being held in North Korea for 18 months.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier made the announcement in a statement through UC Health.

Warmbier returned to the United States in a state of unresponsive wakefulness, according to doctors at UC Medical Center. He had been held in North Korea since January 2016, accused of crimes against the state.

Doctors said last week Warmbier suffered extensive loss of tissue in all regions of the brain. They did not believe the loss was due to head trauma.

Here is the statement from the family after their son's death Monday afternoon:

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 2:20pm.

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.

Reaction

From President Trump:

"Melania and I offer our deepest condolences to the family of Otto Warmbier on his untimely passing.  There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life.  Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto’s family and friends, and all who loved him. Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency.  The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim."

From Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown:

“Our hearts are broken for Otto’s family and everyone who knew and loved him. Connie and I are praying for Fred and Cindy, whose grace in the face of this unthinkable grief is truly remarkable. The strength and love of their family continues to inspire us all.”

From Ohio Senator Rob Portman:

Otto Warmbier was such a promising young man. He was kind, generous and accomplished. He had all the talent you could ever ask for and a bright future ahead of him. His passing today is a loss for Ohio and for all of us. Jane and I are lifting up the Warmbier family in our prayers at this difficult time, and we are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of this remarkable young Ohioan.”