The family of Otto Warmbier announced that the American student only recently freed from detention in North Korea, died on Monday (19 June).

In a statement, the family said that Warmbier died at 2.20 pm ET (7.20pm BST). He had been in a coma since he returned from North Korea, where he was held for over a year.

"It would be easy at a moment like this to focus on all that we lost - future time that won't be spent with a warm, engaging, brilliant young man who curiosity and enthusiasm for life knew no bounds," the family said. "But we choose to focus on the time we were given to be with this remarkable person."

The family thanked doctors at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center, where Warmbier had been since his arrival back in the United States.

"When Otto returned to Cincinnati late on June 13th he was unable to speak, unable to see and unable to react to verbal commands. He looked very uncomfortable - almost anguished.

"Although we would never hear his voice again, within a day the countenance of his face changed - he was at peace. He was home and we believed he could sense that." Warmbier was 22 years old.

Warmbier was a student at the University of Virginia when he travelled to North Korea. As he leaving, Warmbier was arrested for subversion. He tearfully confessed to attempting to steal a propaganda banner and sentenced to 15 years of hard labour.

The family did not hold back when it came to the North Korean regime, saying in Monday's statement: "Unfortunately, the awful torturous mistreatment our son received at the hands of the North Koreans ensured that no other outcome was possible beyond the sad one we experienced today."

otto warmbier
Otto Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour in North KoreaReuters