Otto Warmbier: No autopsy for US student held by North Korea

The family of a US student who died shortly after being freed from North Korea have declined a post-mortem examination, according to a US coroner.

Otto Warmbier died on Monday near his family home in Ohio after more than 15 months in North Korean captivity.

The Hamilton County coroner said his family declined the autopsy therefore only an external exam was performed.

North Korea claims his coma was due to botulism and a sleeping pill, but the Warmbier family and doctors disagree.

"No conclusions about the cause and manner of Mr Warmbier's death have been drawn at this time as there are additional medical records and imaging to review and people to interview," said the coroner's office in Cincinnati, Ohio.

"Our deepest sympathies are with the family and friends of Mr Warmbier at this time of their tragic loss," the statement from Dr Lakshmi Sammarco continues.

Doctors at the Cincinnati Medical Center, where he was treated following his return to the US on 13 June, had determined that he suffered from "unresponsive wakefulness", also known as persistent vegetative state, which occurred due to "severe neurological injury".

Funeral services are scheduled to take place on Thursday morning at the Wyoming High School in Ohio, which Mr Warmbier had attended before graduating and enrolling at the University of Virginia.

"All those that wish to join his family in celebrating his life are cordially invited," the announcement states.


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