Jeff Fowle reacts to latest N. Korea detainee release

Published: Tuesday, June 13, 2017 @ 5:28 PM

The news of Otto Warmbier’s return to the U.S. after serving part of a 15-year prison term in North Korea is hitting close to home for one Moraine man who was detained in North Korea for months. 

“It was like walking on a cloud,” said Jeff Fowle of the day he returned home after being held in North Korea back in 2014. 

News Center 7’s Sean Cudahy spoke to Fowle today to get his reaction of the release of Warmbier, a Cincinnati-area native serving a 15-year prison term with hard labor for alleged anti-state acts.

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Fowle said he has some idea of what Warmbier’s family is going through. 

Fowle was detained in North Korea for six months after leaving a Bible in a club, which is considered a crime. 

“I was very happy to be home with my family, walking on the tarmac there at Wright-Patt ... it was a very good reunion,” Fowle said. “It’s increasingly problematic for the detainees and prisoners over there, as the situation’s gone from bad to worse.” 

A big difference though in their return trips, is Warmbier’s family says their son is in a coma. 

“It’s tragic,” Fowle said. “It’s good at least his parents are going to be reunited with him.”

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Cudahy is working to find out more about where Warmbier will be landing on his return to the U.S.

Wright-Patterson officials have not yet confirmed he will be returning at the base.