Cemeteries Not Accepting Bombing Suspect’s Body

Image: Cemeteries Not Accepting Bombing Suspect’s Body Garrett Plath, right, holds a sign and Toni Zagami, left, wears a "Boston Strong" shirt as they stand outside the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home in North Attleborough, Mass., where a vehicle believed to be carrying the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev arrived on May 2. About 15 people from the area stood outside the funeral home in protest.

Friday, 03 May 2013 04:14 PM

By Todd Beamon

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Deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev has gone from most wanted to least wanted.

The family of the 26-year-old Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police four days after the April 15 blasts that killed three people and injured more than 260 others, is having difficulty finding a cemetery that will accept him.

"Of course, family members will take possession of the body," Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, told WCVB-TV in Boston. "We'll do it. We will do it. A family is a family."

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Tsarnaev’s uncle and his two sisters claimed the body Thursday night after his wife, Katherine Russell, agreed to turn over rights to his side of the family, Fox News reports.

Even the owner of a funeral home in Worcester, Mass., has come under fire for accepting Tsarnaev’s body.

"I'm not honoring a terrorist," Peter Stefan, owner of Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors, told the Worcester Telegraph & Gazette on Friday. "I’m just burying a body."

Stefan said he believed that everyone should be treated with dignity after their death.

He said he was prepared for protests — and Stefan has an activist history, the Telegraph & Gazette reports, having provided funeral services for the homeless or the drug-involved who have had no family to pay for, or arrange, burials.

"Don’t do it? OK, what do you suggest I do?" Stefan asked. "What would you do?"

Tsarnaev’s body was taken to Worcester after protesters gathered at Dyer-Lake Funeral Home and Cremation Services in North Attleborough, Mass., The Boston Globe reports.

Dyer-Lake said early Friday that it no longer had Tsarnaev’s body but did not say where the remains had been sent.

Kheda Saratova, a human-rights activist working with the family in Russia, told the Globe that the Tsarnaev family would not bury Tamerlan until they found an independent coroner to issue a cause of death.

The Tsarnaevs questioned reports that authorities were taking Tamerlan into custody when his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, reportedly ran him over in a stolen SUV in trying to escape.

He was captured later that evening after an intense manhunt.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is facing federal charges that could lead to the death penalty, was being held at a federal prison hospital outside Boston.

Three men charged with obstructing the investigation — Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, both 19-year-old Kazakh nationals, and Robel Phillipos, 19, of Cambridge — are being held at the Essex County Correctional Facility in Middleton.

Their attorneys have said they are not guilty of any crimes.

The medical examiner's office has not released the cause of death for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Globe reports. A death certificate could be released as early as Friday.

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