North Korean Detainee Otto Warmbier is Laid to Rest

Maureen Collins | June 22, 2017
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It's a very different Otto Warmbier than the one we saw terrified, "confessing" before a court in communist North Korea. 

No. This video shows a cheerful Warmbier cracking jokes in his salutatorian speech for his high school graduation in 2013. He quotes Andy Bernard from the TV show "The Office," saying, "I wish there was a way to know that you're in the 'good old days' before you've actually left them."

The quote was printed on the program for his funeral, which was held Thursday at Wyoming High School in Ohio -- the same place where he gave this speech four years ago. 

Last week, Otto returned home in a coma after being detained in North Korea for over 17 months for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. On Monday, he passed away. 

"Its a total disgrace what happened to Otto," remarked President Donald Trump. "And frankly, if he were brought home sooner, I think the results would have been a lot different." 

One of the people who helped get him home, United States Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun, was present at Warmbier's funeral Thursday. Also present was Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who told reporters after the service that "Otto Warmbier's life was cut short." 

The University of Virginia, where Otto was set to graduate this past May, held a candlelight vigil in his memory on Tuesday. His girlfriend, Alex Vagonis, addressed mourners. 

"Being with Otto made life all the more beautiful," she remarked. "And it was not just my life he made more colorful, but everyone else's." 

The exact cause of Otto's medical condition upon returning from North Korea is still unknown. His family has declined an autopsy.

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