Otto Warmbier’s family refuses autopsy

Coroner performs external examination

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Otto Warmbier's family requested the coroner's office not perform an autopsy.  

Courtesy PBS NewsHour

Otto Warmbier’s body was received by the Hamilton County Coroner’s Office, but the coroner will not perform an autopsy at the request of his family. However, an external examination of Warmbier’s body was performed.

It is not yet known if the external examination has revealed any details on Warmbier’s death at this time.

"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," the coroner’s office said in a statement.

Warmbier died Monday afternoon. When he returned from his imprisonment in North Korea, Warmbier was in a state of “unresponsive wakefulness,” according to his doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and he had severe loss of brain tissue.

North Korea officials reported that Warmbier had contracted botulism and taken a sleeping pill, which put him in his condition. Warmbier’s parents said they do not believe this story, and officials will not be able to determine the truth without an autopsy.

The University hosted a vigil for Warmbier Tuesday evening. Hundreds of students came out to show their support for Warmbier.

Otto had returned from 17 months of imprisonment in North Korea almost a week before he died. He was imprisoned on allegations of attempting to steal a political banner from the hotel in which he was staying.

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