THE cause of death of American student Otto Warmbier, who was just days ago released from over a year of captivity in North Korea, is still unknown.
The 22-year-old was medically evacuated last week and was being treated at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center when he breathed his last on Monday. He spent 17 months in North Korea as a prisoner after stealing a propaganda poster from his hotel room.
Warmbier, an honour student at the University of Virgina, fell into a coma on March 2016, just days after he was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in North Korea.
Doctors say there were no obvious signs of physical trauma or evidence of bone fracture but Warmbier’s family insists he had been physically abused by his captors.
North Korea is yet to release an official comment on his death. They, however, claimed in the past that Warmbier had contracted botulism soon after his trial. They added he was given a sleeping pill and had been in a coma since.
The doctors who were treating him in Cincinnati, however, refute the botulism claim.
Without conclusive evidence, the question on everybody’s mind now is: what killed Otto Warmbier?