US student freed by North Korea in a coma has died at 22

WASHINGTON (AP) The Latest on the release of an American from a North Korean prison (all times local):

Monday (June 19):

An American college student who was released by North Korea in a coma has died in Ohio. Otto Warmbier was 22.

His family said in a statement released by a hospital that Warmbier died Monday afternoon.

The family thanked the University of Cincinnati Medical Center for treating him but said, "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 was sentenced to 15 years in prison with hard labor in North Korea, convicted of subversion after he tearfully confessed he had tried to steal a propaganda banner.

The University of Virginia student was held for more than 17 months and medically evacuated from North Korea last week. Doctors said he returned with severe brain damage, but it wasn't clear what caused it.

Original coverage from June 13

11:30 a.m.

The parents of the 22-year old American college student freed by North Korea say he is in a coma.

They say that Otto Warmbier is on a Medivac flight on his way home. He had been serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts.

Fred and Cindy Warmbier said in a statement to The Associated Press that they have been told their son has been in a coma since March 2016, and they had learned of this only one week ago.

They said: "We want the world to know how we and our son have been brutalized and terrorized by the pariah regime" in North Korea.

They also said they are grateful he "will finally be with people who love him."

The State Department announced Warmbier's release earlier Tuesday but gave no details on his condition.

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9:35 a.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says that North Korea has released Otto Warmbier, an American serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts.

Tillerson says that Warmbier is on his way back to the U.S. to be re-united with his family. He says in a statement that the State Department secured Warmbier's release at the direction of President Donald Trump. Tillerson says the State Department continues discussing three other detained Americans with North Korea.

The announcement comes as former NBA player Dennis Rodman is paying a return visit to North Korea.

Warmbier is a University of Virginia student from suburban Cincinnati. He was sentenced in March 2016 after a televised tearful public confession to trying to steal a propaganda banner.

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