Trump calls Warmbier's death a 'total disgrace' - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Trump calls Warmbier's death a 'total disgrace'; public service set

Otto Warmbier (Source: WXIX) Otto Warmbier (Source: WXIX)

By KEN THOMAS
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump says the death of a 22-year-old University of Virginia student who was detained for nearly a year and a half in North Korea is a "total disgrace."

The president says if Otto Warmbier had been returned home to the U.S. earlier, "I think the result would have been a lot different."

Trump spoke briefly about Warmbier during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Ukraine.

Trump says he spoke with Warmbier's parents and says it's "incredible what they've gone through."

Trump adds, "he should have been brought home a long time ago."

The college student died Monday, shortly after his return to Ohio after being held for more than 17 months.

Warmbier's parents haven't cited a cause of death, but "awful, torturous mistreatment" by North Korea.

His funeral service is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m. at Wyoming High School at 106 Pendery Avenue, Cincinnati, OH. It is open to the public. 

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati do no know caused Warmbier's severe brain damage. They reject North Korea's claim he contracted botulism, but he showed no signs of physical abuse. The Hamilton County Coroner is investigating his death. 

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) offered his condolences Tuesday.

"Our hearts are broken for Otto’s family and everyone who knew and loved him. Connie and I are praying for Fred and Cindy, whose grace in the face of this unthinkable grief is truly remarkable. The strength and love of their family continues to inspire us all."

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