Hundreds of mourners are celebrating the life of Otto Warmbier Thursday, the American college student who was detained in North Korea for over a year and died shortly after being returned home to Ohio in a coma. (June 22)

WYOMING, Ohio — They came in such grand numbers they couldn’t fit. 

So, once the auditorium and an auxiliary room were full, people lined the streets, waving flags and handmade signs as the funeral procession for Otto Warmbier — the American student held in North Korea for more than a year — passed.

The Wyoming, Ohio, community gathered at Wyoming High School — Warmbier’s alma mater — to say goodbye to a neighbor, friend, brother, son.

Warmbier, 22, died Monday, just days after he returned from North Korea in a coma. His death rocketed his small Ohio hometown, which is a Cincinnati suburb, to international fame.

More: Medical mysteries surround end of Otto Warmbier’s life

Warmbier was brave, said Chris Colloton, who met Warmbier in preschool and graduated high school with him in 2013. He was kind. He was funny, if at times a bit off-color. He was loving, and he was loved.


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“If people could know just the extraordinary character he had, that’s all that really matters,” Colloton said. “I think it’s important that his life be remembered for how he lived it and how he approached the world.”

Warmbier was a University of Virginia student when, in late 2015, he visited North Korea with a China-based tour…