Transcript for Otto Warmbier, American student detained by North Korea, dies
The horrifying and mystifying story. I'm Otto warm beer he was a promising young student at and only American University who was arrested in North Korea. The regime there held warm beer for more than a year only to release him. Nearly a week ago in a coma and then today a tragic ending to this story with so many questions unanswered. This is the action and may have cost his college junior and his life then 21 year old Otto warm beer attempting to steal a propaganda poster from a hotel in north Koreans yeah. What followed was a tearful confession and a sentence to fifteen years of hardly. Seventeen months later warm beer was carried out a plane on US soil unable to walk talk or respond to verbal command. We're thrilled that our son is on American soil and I'm able to talk to you on autos behalf and I'm able. To Wear. To check it. That he wore. When he gave his confession today to six days after that. Warm beer guy his parents writing in a statement auto has completed his journey home for much president Donald Trump promptly weighing in. At least we got him home to do with his parents. Where they were so happy to see him even though he was. In very tough conditions to brutal regime. And who will be able to handle it. It is not yet clear what impact more Beers death will have on the already tense situation. Between the United States and a road nuclear power. What happened to warm beer in North Korean captivity is still a mystery he grew up in a small town in the suburbs of Cincinnati. Otto warm beer was known to be a high achievers the saluted Torre and at his high school graduation. He and rolled at the University of Virginia but in December of 2015. He made a decision that would radically Alter his life warm beer went to North Korea on a five day visit with a tour group. Called the young pioneers tours they're based out of China their sales pitch. Offering package tours to quote destinations your mother rather stayed away for. In an email exchange today when ABC news the director of the young pioneers told us. I cannot say I personally knew Otto well all I can say is that a do know that he was well liked by all who traveled with him. It was in the early hours of New Year's Day that warm beer while staying at a hotel arranged by the young pioneers. Made that fateful decision to steal that propaganda. He was arrested at the airport just as he was leaving on January 2 North Korean state media claiming he was working to defame the country. As upon of the US government. Despite his pleas for mercy he was sent to a North Korean prison it would be the last time his family would ever hear his voice. Who uses low. For months the family had no news at these conditions. Encouraged by the Obama administration to keep a low profile to better negotiate his release frustrated by the pace though they spoke out on Fox News in April. President trump I ask you. Bring my son home. President trump was briefed on warm Beers case in February directing. Secretary of state Rex Tillerson to secure the release of every American hostage in North Korea in May secret talks took place in Oslo Norway. Eventually leading to a meeting in New York City. That is when the State Department learned that warm beer. Had been in a coma for more than a year former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson has been working with the warm beer family to secure their son's release. They're in very dire conditions that these prisons they don't get proper medical care. Some are put in. Work and labor camps. This is a very cruel rate. Shame on June 12 and American delegation arrived in North Korea to visit warm beer. Demanding his release on humanitarian ground on June 13 at approximately 10 PM warm beer was medevac back to the United States. And when he touched down he was rushed to the University of Cincinnati neuroscience intensive care unit. North Korean officials say he contracted botulism after taking a sleeping pill but American doctors dispute that claim. I think that's probably the greatest. Clue to the medical team here. Is that the the loss of brain tissue was across the board it was everywhere something that would happen if someone were deprived of oxygen. More Beers brief reunion with his family bittersweet his father giving this emotional statement to the press I knelt down by his side and I hugged him. And I told him I missed him and I was so glad to be made at home. Tonight the family condemning North Korea's actions. The awful torturous mistreatment or son received at the hands of the north Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible. Secretary of state Tillerson saying in a statement we hold North Korea accountable for auto warm Beers unjust imprisonment. Tillerson also demanding the release of other American hostages who remain in the country. US North Korea relations are increasingly strained. I believe that it autos death will have political repercussions this was a crime against humanity if they're going to be more sanctions on North Korea four. The regime of Kim Jung un is so isolated that former NBA player Dennis Rodman is perhaps the most visible diplomatic presence in the country. Last week he native strangely timed his visit to north Koreans there's over the north. Food reporter says but officials insist Rodman had no role in war figures released. In the case of journalists Laura Ling and you know leave it took a former president to secure freedom. He 2009 Ling and Lee were accused of crossing over the North Korean border while filming a story and sister Laura. Annually. Laura's sister the reporter Lisa lane led a very public campaign for their freedom. They were only granted amnesty after the former President Bill Clinton visited the capital city of Pyongyang. The nightmare of our lives. Was by lady coming into an and. Today Laura lane to weeded sending my thoughts and deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of auto warm beer. Tonight warm Beers tore group the young pioneers tells ABC news they will no longer organized tours for Americans to visit North Korea. His parents writing that when he arrived he looked very uncomfortable almost anguished within a day they're countenance of his face changed. He was at peace. He was home. And we believe he could sense that. One month time the last video his family has a warm beer as Korean man shows their bright adventurous son. Playing with children in North Korea. Days before he was arrested. The final frames of liberty and a life cut. Way too short.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.