'They destroyed him' - Parents reveal horriying extent of Otto Warmbier's torture in North Korea

They say his teeth were rearranged with pliers and he was blind when he arrived home.
They say his teeth were rearranged with pliers and he was blind when he arrived home. Photo credit: Fox News

The parents of American student Otto Warmbier, 22, who died after spending more than a year in North Korean custody have spoken for the first time about the extent of his condition when he arrived home.

In the family's first television interview since the burial of their son, Fred and Cindy Warmbier told Fox & Friends Otto was in an inhumane state when he arrived back to the United States in June.

"We were in a waiting room with the medical team as the plane arrived, it was determined that the medical team would go on the plane before [us]," Mr Warmbier said.

Otto Warmbier, Arriving home
Otto arrived home by private jet in an "inhumane" state in June. Photo credit: Reuters

After around five minutes the family, including Otto's siblings Austin and Greta, were then allowed to see him.

"When we got half way up the steps [of the plane] we heard this howling involuntary inhumane sound, we climbed to the top of the steps and we looked in and Otto was [on the stretcher] jerking violently," Mr Warmbier said.

"He was staring blankly into space, jerking violently, he was blind, he was deaf. It looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth."

Ms Warmbier said Greta, Otto's sister, ran off the plane screaming after seeing him.

Fred Warmbier, Otto Warmbier
Otto's father, Fred, spoke to media last week wearing the same jacket his son appeared before a North Korean court in. Photo credit: Getty

Following Otto's arrival his father says his son's condition worsened as his fever spiked to more than 40degC.

"They destroyed him," Ms Warmbier added.

"We weren't prepared for what we had, when we saw Otto the way he was, we loved him, we're proud of him but no parent should ever have gone through what we had gone through.

"The fact that Otto was alone all that time was inexcusable."

Otto Warmbier, North Korea
Otto was sentenced to 15 years hard labour in 2016. Photo credit: Getty

The Cincinnati student was released in June after being sentenced to 15 years hard labour in March 2016 after authorities accused him of attempting to steal a banner from his hotel over the New Year period.

Upon his release, North Korean officials told US officials he had to be in a coma for more than a year after suffering from a botulism infection.

However after landing back in the United States, doctors revealed Otto had been subject to extensive loss of brain tissue in all regions of the brain.

Otto Warmbier, Funeral
Otto's father, Fred Warmbier, can be seen in the background wearing an American flag tie. Photo credit: Getty

Otto Warmbier was buried in his home town of Wyoming, Ohio a little over a week after his arrival back to the United States.

It is estimated thousands attended his funeral and lined the streets in celebration of his life.

His funeral was also attended by Ambassador Joseph Yun, a US official who travelled to Pyongyang to bring Otto back.


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