Warmbier's parents, raise new questions about his cause of death

BY JOYCE CLARK
Posted on FEB 05, 2019

Otto Warmbier's parents and the county coroner who examined his body both spoke with news media this week and offered never-before-released details about Warmbier's last few comatose days.

Otto Warmbier's parents and the county coroner who examined his body both spoke with news media this week and offered never-before-released details about Warmbier's last few comatose days. Their two accounts diverged on several key details, however, and neither one offered a definitive explanation as to what killed the 22-year-old prisoner of North Korea.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier, the student's parents, appeared Tuesday on Fox & Friends and described rushing to the airport to see their son only to be horrified by the badly damaged and almost unrecognizable figure that paramedics brought to them on a stretcher: Their son was "jerking violently, making this howling, involuntary, inhuman sound," Fred Warmbier said. "He was blind, he was deaf."
The father also said that some of Otto Warmbier's teeth were bent and mangled: "It looked like someone had taken pliers and tried to rearrange his bottom teeth."

Lakshmi Sammarco, Hamilton County coroner, contradicted the parents in a press conference the next day. She said that she did not see "any evidence of trauma" to their son's teeth and that a forensic dentist saw no damage either.

Sammarco did not dispute the "jerking" and "howling." These are consistent with a prognosis of severe brain damage, she said.

She said that Otto Warmbier's skin and body, on the other hand, were in "excellent" condition. He was "well-nourished when he arrived at our facility." Nor did she or her colleagues find any evidence of skull fractures or major head trauma.

"We don't know what happened to him to cause that brain damage over a year before he died at this point we're never going to know ... unless the people that were there at the time it happened come forward and say, 'This is what happened to Otto,'" Sammarco said

 

 

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