Family of local man jailed, then released from North Korea holding news conference

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Posted at 9:00 AM, Jun 15, 2017

WYOMING, Ohio -- Otto Warmbier's family will update the public on the 22-year-old's medical condition after he was released from North Korea Tuesday.

When the news conference begins at about 10 a.m., you can watch it in the video player below


Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after he confessed to trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting North Korea in 2016. He remained in the country for 17 months, where he was reportedly in a coma for more than a year.

The Warmbier family' will speak to the media at Wyoming High School, one of Ohio’s top-rated schools. Warmbier graduated from there in 2013 as class salutatorian and had played soccer.

RELATED: Did Dennis Rodman rescue a Tri-State man jailed in North Korea?

Fred Warmbier, Otto's father, spoke to Fox News Wednesday and said Otto "is not in great shape right now."

“Otto has been terrorized and brutalized for 18 months by a pariah regime in North Korea,” the father said in an interview scheduled to air Thursday night.

When Otto arrived in Cincinnati late Tuesday night, he was immediately taken to University of Cincinnati Hospital Medical Center.

The Washington Post reported a North Korean account of Warmbier's condition, which claimed he came down with botulism soon after his hourlong trial and that he never woke up after being given a sleeping pill. The article noted there was no way of knowing yet whether the North Korean version of events was accurate.

Later in the evening, the New York Times reported a senior American intelligence official told its staff Warmbier had been severely beaten. The state department, the NYT wrote, even worried that he had been killed during his imprisonment. Given North Korea's history of brutally abusing dissidents and political prisoners, it wasn't out of the question.