Cemeteries across Massachusetts are refusing to bury the body of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two men suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon on April 15.
Tsarnaev was killed in a shootout with police days after the bombing that left three dead and hundreds more injured. However, efforts to bury his remains have been rejected by all of the cemeteries that the funeral home has contacted, NBC News reported Sunday.
“We have to bury this guy,” said Peter Stefan of Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester, where Tsarnaev’s body underwent a “religious washing” Sunday. “Whatever it is, whoever he is, in this country—we bury people. I don’t care who it is. That’s what I do. I don’t have circumstances to deal with. I can’t separate sins from sinners. I can’t pick and choose. This is what we do.”
Tsarnaev’s 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was charged with the use of a “weapon of mass destruction” in the attacks. The older Tsarnaev left behind a wife, Katherine Russell Tsarnaev, and a three-year-old daughter. Russell’s lawyer has said that she was not involved in the bombing.
The two suspects’ parents, Aznor and Zubeidat Tsarnaev, live in Dagestan, a Republic in the Caucusus region.
With the family dispersed around the world, the responsibility for Tsarnaev’s funeral preparations has fallen on Ruslan Tsarni, an uncle of the suspects who said that he lost touch with his nephews in 2005.
Sunday, Tsarni and three of his friends prepared Tsarnaev’s body for burial.
“Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried,” Tsarni said. “There is no other place that would accept his body. He lived in America, he grew up here. Any contemplations that his body should be taken to his home country, they cannot believe. His home country was indeed Cambridge, Massachusetts.”
Sunday, officials with the FBI searched the Cambridge apartment that Tsarnaev shared with Russell and his younger brother. Investigators were trying to determine whether the bombs detonated at the marathon were built in the home, NBC News’ Michael Isikoff reported.