An American student imprisoned in North Korea for 17 months died from lack of oxygen and blood to the brain, according to an Ohio coroner’s report released on Wednesday.
Otto Warmbier’s death on June 19 was due to an unknown injury that occurred more than a year before his death, according to Hamilton County Coroner’s Office investigator John Hatfield and the coroner’s report dated Sept. 11.
The University of Virginia student was held by North Korea from January 2016 until his release on June 15. Warmbier, 22, returned to the United States in a coma.
Both the investigator and the coroner’s report cited complications of chronic deficiency of oxygen and blood supply to the brain in Warmbier’s death. Only an external examination of the body rather than a full autopsy was completed at the request of Warmbier’s family.
North Korea previously blamed botulism and the ingestion of a sleeping pill for Otto Warmbier’s problems, and it dismissed torture claims.