Sept. 27 (UPI) — Speaking on major TV news channels this week, the parents of Otto Warmbier disclosed new details about the death of their 22-year-old son.
Fred and Cindy Warmbier also doubled down on one long-standing contention: It was no natural medical condition that killed their son. It was the North Korean regime led by Kim Jong Un.
Otto Warmbier returned to the United States in June after serving about a year and a half of a 15-year sentence of hard labor. North Korean officials said the University of Virginia student was sentenced for attempting to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel while touring the country in January 2016.
When he was released and returned to the United States in June, Otto Warmbier was comatose. North Korea initially blamed botulism, but his parents said their son had “been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime.”
Speaking Tuesday on Fox Friends, Cindy Warmbier said her son’s condition was worse than she and her husband could have imagined.
They were struck by his appearance when they first saw him again in their home state of Ohio.
“Otto had a shaved head, he had a feeding tube coming out of his nose, he was staring blankly into space, jerking violently,” Fred Warmbier said. “He was blind. He was deaf. As we looked at him and tried to comfort him it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth.”
In a separate interview this week on CNN, the parents said Otto Warmbier also had “totally deformed” hands and legs and a large scar along his right foot.
Fred Warmbier told Fox Friends he blames the North Korean government for his son’s death.
“They are terrorists,” Fred Warmbier said. “They kidnapped Otto, they tortured him, [and] they intentionally injured him.”
Some of the Warmbier family’s allegations, though, conflict with a report from the Hamilton County coroner’s office in southwest Ohio.
The report, which the Cincinnati Enquirer obtained Tuesday, said Otto Warmbier’s teeth were “natural and in good repair” and that his nose and ears showed “no remarkable alteration.”
But the coroner’s office noted the 22-year-old died “due to an unknown insult more than a year prior to death.”