Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Death of Otto Warmbier sparking outrage from all levels of government

Ohio -- The death of an Ohio college student who returned from North Korea in a coma is sparking outrage from the highest levels of government.

Otto Warmbier, 22, only intended to spend five days sightseeing in North Korea, but he was arrested last year for trying to steal a propaganda banner. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor.

Warmbier was returned home last week in very bad shape. His doctors told reporters that he'd lost much of his brain tissue due to cardiopulmonary arrest and that two brain scans sent by the North Koreans suggested he'd been in a vegetative state for at least 14 months. He was held for 17.

The North Koreans blamed his state on botulism.

President Donald Trump reacted to his death.

"At least we got him home to be with his parents, where they were so happy to see him even though he was in very tough condition," he said. "But he just passed away a little while ago. It's a brutal regime, and we'll be able to handle it."

Governor John Kasich called it more proof of the evil nature of North Korea and offered prayers to the Warmbier family.

Senator Rob Portman called Warmbier a promising young man and said his death is a loss for Ohio.

Meanwhile, the travel agency that organized Warmbier's trip said it will no longer take U.S. citizens to the north, calling the risk "too high."

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is calling on Pyongyang to quickly return all detained Americans.

Continuing coverage here.