Coroner: Otto Warmbier's family objected to autopsy, no internal examination performed

No conclusions about cause of death
Coroner investigating Otto Warmbier's death
Posted at 9:43 AM, Jun 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-21 07:25:08-04

CINCINNATI -- The Hamilton County Coroner's Office has reached no conclusion in an investigation of the death of the student who died less than a week after his return from North Korea, where he was detained near a year and a half.

A spokesman for the Hamilton County coroner said Dr. Lakshmi Sammaraco's office has accepted the case of Otto Warmbier, who died Monday at University of Cincinnati Medical Center. The coroner's office honored an objection to an autopsy from Warmbier's family and only performed an external examination, they announced.

RELATED: This is the last video taken of Warmbier before his arrest in North Korea

The coroner's office also reviewed medical records from University of Cincinnati Medical Center and AeroMed Management Group. Officials also held "extensive" conversations with Warmbier's physician at the hospital. 

Officials have not reached a conclusion about the cause of death. They still plan to review additional medical records and imaging and to interview more people.

A public funeral service for Warmbier has been scheduled for Thursday morning.

Wambier's parents did not cite a specific cause of death, but cited "awful, torturous mistreatment" by North Korea. Doctors had described Warmbier's condition as a state of "unresponsive wakefulness" and said he suffered a "severe neurological injury" of unknown cause.

Warmbier arrived in Cincinnati on June 13 after being held for more than 17 months.

RELATED: Trump 'condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime' after Warmbier's death

The University of Virginia student was accused of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting with a tour group.

He was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years in prison with hard labor. His family says it was told he had been in a coma since soon after his sentencing.

RELATED: Hospital says Warmbier suffered 'severe neurological injury' in North Korea