Otto Warmbier’s funeral: Final farewell for US student detained by North Korea

Mourners arrive for the funeral of Otto Warmbier, Thursday, June 22, 2017, in Wyoming, Ohio. Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student who was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labor in North Korea, died this week, days after returning to the United States. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)


WYOMING, OH (AP) — The life of a 22-year-old college student who died this week after being detained for nearly a year and a half in North Korea will be celebrated in an Ohio hometown still stunned by his loss.

Wyoming officials say the service for Otto Warmbier in the Wyoming High School auditorium will be open to the public Thursday, but not to news media.

North Korean detainee Otto Warmbier died less than a week after coming back to his hometown in Ohio. Jay Klein, Warmbier’s soccer teammate when Otto was a senior at Wyoming High School, says he cherishes the time they spent together. (June 20)

The Hamilton County coroner is still trying to determine the cause of Warmbier’s death Monday. The University of Virginia student was accused in January 2015 of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting North Korea.

Steve Thomas, his former soccer coach, says he was a key player who had a deep commitment to reaching out to people. He has “an overwhelming sense of loss” about his passing.

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