The parents of Otto Warmbier are describing the agony they experienced when their son, broken and brain-damaged, was returned by North Korea.
“We walked over to the plane, the engines were still humming, they had just landed," Fred Warmbier said. "When we got halfway up the steps, we heard this howling, involuntary, inhuman sound. We weren’t really certain what it was.”
Once onboard, the family was aghast.
“Otto had a shaved head, he had a feeding tube coming out of his nose, he was staring blankly into space, jerking violently,” Fred said. “He was blind. He was deaf. As we looked at him and tried to comfort him, it looked like someone had taken a pair of pliers and rearranged his bottom teeth.”
Otto’s sister, Greta, ran screaming from the aircraft. Her mother, Cindy, chased after her.
Six days after arriving home in Cincinnati, Otto died in a hospital.
The parents' appearance on Fox & Friends was the first time they had spoken publicly since their son's death in June.
He was imprisoned for allegedly trying to steal a propaganda poster while visiting the country with a tourist group. The college student sobbed and begged for mercy at an hour-long trial. He was sentenced in March 2016 to 15 years of hard labor.
“They kidnapped Otto," his father said. "They tortured him.”
"They ruined him," his mother added.
"No mother, no parent should ever have gone through what we went through," she said. "And the fact that Otto was alone all that time with no one to comfort him is inexcusable. And whatever — whatever happened — I mean, why would you do this?" she said.
The couple has called the North Korean government “terrorists” and has urged President Trump to list the country as a state sponsor of terror.