Warmbier, who had been imprisoned in North Korea for more than a year, died after returning to the U.S. in a state of unresponsive wakefulness in June 2007 -- just days after U.S. officials secured his release and returned him to his family in Ohio.
Warmbier had been sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 after being accused of attempting to steal a propaganda poster from his Pyongyang hotel while visiting the country. The details of his detention and what led to the unresponsive wakefulness are still unknown.
In December 2018, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ruled that Warmbier's parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, were entitled to a $500 million against the North Korean government under Kim Jong Un for the death of their son.
"We are thankful that the United States has a fair and open judicial system so that the world can see that the Kim regime is legally and morally responsible for Otto’s death," the family said in a statement at the time.