Student freed by North Korea in a coma has died at 22

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Student freed by North Korea in a coma has died at 22.

Otto Warmbier, the American student who was imprisoned in North Korea for more than 17 months, has died surrounded by his 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," Warmbier's family said in a statement.

Last week, Warmbier returned to Cincinnati and was taken to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. His family said he was unable to speak, see or react to verbal commands.

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"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," his family said.

In March 2016, North Korea's highest court sentenced Warmbier to 15 years in prison with hard labor for subversion as he tearfully confessed that he had tried to steal a propaganda banner.

North Korea claimed that Warmbier fell into a coma after contracting botulism and taking a sleeping pill shortly after his sentencing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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