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Local News

Warmbier Family Refuses Autopsy

Ann Thompson
Fred Warmbier, speaking at a news conference last Thursday about his son Otto, is wearing the same jacket his son had on when confessing to stealing a propaganda poster in North Korea.

It appears we might never know the exact cause of death for Otto Warmbier, a Wyoming High School grad held in North Korea for 17 months for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.

Hamilton County Cororner Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco, in a news release, says her office received and examined Warmbier's body but the family objected to an autopsy and the coroner only performed an external examination.

The office also studied medical records from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and the air ambulance service that transported Warmbier. Her office also had extensive conversations with his treating physician.

Dr. Sammarco says she hasn't reached any conclusions about the cause and manner of Otto's death. But there are additional medical records and imaging to review and other people to interview.

Warmbier returned home in an unresponsive state last week, after spending months in a North Korean prison.

A public funeral service is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. at Wyoming High School.