Suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body, unwanted by local cemeteries, may end up back in his native Russia even if family members can’t pay to ship it there.
William Breault, a retired maintenance worker in Worcester, Mass., said he opened a bank account with $500 to start a fund to pay for sending the body away. Tsarnaev’s corpse arrived last week at a funeral parlor near Breault’s home. “I haven’t slept well since then,” Breault said by telephone.
Peter Stefan, owner of the Graham Putnam & Mahoney funeral home that has the body, said he hasn’t been able to find a cemetery willing to inter Tsarnaev’s remains.
“Why should we accept him here?” Breault, 67, said Monday.
Three weeks after the April 15 bombing that killed three and injured more than 260, diplomats may end up getting involved in resolving where Tsarnaev’s corpse is buried.
Breault said he asked U.S. Rep. James P. McGovern, a Democrat whose district includes Worcester, to appeal to Secretary of State John Kerry to arrange shipping the body to Dagestan, the republic in southern Russia where Tsarnaev’s parents live.
“We’re unaware of any efforts to coordinate sending his remains to Russia,” Patrick Ventrell, a State Department spokesman, said Monday in a news briefing. “These things are usually settled by the family.”
The slain suspect’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaev, told Stefan yesterday that she wants the body sent back to Russia, according to The Boston Globe. The newspaper said Stefan had tried to contact the State Department and Russian officials about shipping the corpse there, without reaching anyone in authority.
Stefan’s business has been the scene of protests since taking Tsarnaev’s remains. Breault, who lives a 20-minute walk away, said about 100 people were outside the business today.
“They’re yelling and waving flags and shouting U-S-A, U-S-A,” Breault said.
He praised Stefan as “a good man” for handling bodies of the poor and even those accused of murder. Some have landed in the pauper’s section of Worcester’s Hope Cemetery. Tsarnaev’s body was released by the state medical examiner on May 2.
“This isn’t right, not in this case, not this one,” Breault said of burying Tsarnaev’s body in the Worcester cemetery.
He said the city of Cambridge also has rejected the body. Tsarnaev lived in the community that is home to Harvard University since coming to America with his parents and siblings as refugees from the Caucasus region about a decade ago.
“I am in regular contact with the appropriate authorities in an attempt to find a resolution to this situation as quickly as possible,” McGovern, the U.S. representative, said Monday in a statement.
Massachusetts Rep. Ed Markey, a Democrat running for U.S. Senate in a June 25 special election, and Republican challenger Gabriel Gomez, a political newcomer, both said Tsarnaev shouldn’t be buried in the state.
The June election will decide who serves the remainder of Kerry’s fifth term, which ends in early 2015. Kerry resigned as the state’s senior senator to become the nation’s top diplomat in February.
Gomez, a former Navy SEAL, said the suspect’s body should be dealt with in the same manner as Osama bin Laden's. The mastermind of the 9/11 attacks on the United States was buried at sea from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson after he was killed in a May 2011 special forces raid in Pakistan.
Tsarnaev, 26, died early April 19 after a firefight with police in Watertown, Mass., just west of Boston. He was shot several times in the gunfight before being run over by a vehicle driven by his younger brother and accused bombing accomplice, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, who was fleeing the scene, according to police and medical reports.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured later that day and is being held in a prison hospital outside Boston, where he is recovering from gunshot wounds. He has been charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction and may face the death penalty if convicted.
The brothers detonated home-made explosives — pressure cookers packed with black powder, nails, bolts and BBs — near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, prosecutors have said. Many of those who lived through the attack lost limbs.
A concert to benefit the victims planned for May 30 at Boston's TD Garden arena sold out within minutes Monday, according to Tricia McCorkle, spokeswoman for the venue. The show will feature performances by Aerosmith, Jimmy Buffett, and New Kids on the Block. Proceeds will go to the One Fund Boston Inc., which has raised more than $29 million.
Initial plans for distributing the aid to bombing victims were outlined today by Kenneth Feinberg, a Washington lawyer administering the fund.
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