Final farewell for student detained in North Korea

FILE – In this Feb. 29, 2016 file photo, American student Otto Warmbier speaks to reporters in Pyongyang, North Korea. (AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon, File)

WYOMING, Ohio (AP) — The life of a 22-year-old college student who died this week after being detained for nearly a year and a half in North Korea will be celebrated in an Ohio hometown still stunned by his loss.

Wyoming officials say the service for Otto Warmbier in the Wyoming High School auditorium will be open to the public Thursday, but not to news media.

The Hamilton County coroner is still trying to determine the cause of Warmbier’s death Monday. The University of Virginia student was accused in January 2015 of trying to steal a propaganda banner while visiting North Korea.

Steve Thomas, his former soccer coach, says he was a key player who had a deep commitment to reaching out to people. He has “an overwhelming sense of loss” about his passing.

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