BOSTON – Nineteen days after Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev died following a gunbattle with police, cemeteries still refused to take his remains and government officials deflected questions about where he could be buried.
On Wednesday, police in Worcester, west of Boston, pleaded for a resolution, saying they were spending tens of thousands of dollars to protect the funeral home where his body is being kept amid protests.
“We are not barbarians,” police Chief Gary Gemme said. “We bury the dead.”
Tsarnaev was fatally wounded in Watertown, just outside Boston, after police confronted him in a stolen car. He was shot several times by police, then was run over with the car by his fleeing brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, his accomplice in the deadly April 15 bombing, authorities have said.
The bombing, involving pressure cookers packed with explosives and shrapnel near the marathon’s finish line, killed three people and injured about 260 others.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body was released by the state medical examiner May 1 and has been in limbo since. Tsarnaev’s widow had wanted his body turned over to his side of the family, which claimed it.
The widow, Katherine Russell, has hired New York criminal lawyer Joshua Dratel, who has experience defending terrorism cases, as she continues to face questions from federal authorities investigating the bombing. Her attorney Amato DeLuca said Dratel’s “specialized experience” will help ensure she can assist in the ongoing investigation.