Thursday, May 9, 2013
The body of Boston marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed during a standoff with police on April 19, has been buried after an unnamed individual came forward to assist police.
Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme made a public appeal on Wednesday, saying that several offers of a burial plot had been withdrawn for fear of negative publicity. Today, police announced that Tsarnaev has been buried.
“After the chief’s public appeal, the marathon bombing suspect’s body has been moved from Worcester and is entombed,” Worcester police said today.
Police said that a “courageous and compassionate individual” came forward to assist in the proper burial of Tsarnaev’s body. No information was provided on the individual that assisted in the burial, or where the body was buried.
Before today’s announcement, an employee of Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors, who said she did not wish to be named, told ABCNews.com that hundreds of offers for burial plots came in from across the country.
“We’re getting a lot,” she said. “If I had to venture a guess, I’d say about 400-500 people offering plots. You can offer the plot, but the cemetery wouldn’t let you bury him there.”
The employee said that many callers have said that they would also cover the cost of burial.
In today’s statement, Gemme thanked the community that ultimately provided the burial site.
The complicated fallout over what to do with Tsarnaev’s body began when the city of Cambridge, Mass., where Russian-born Tsarnaev lived, issued a pre-emptive statement saying they would not allow him to be buried there.
Russia has a policy of not giving the bodies of terrorists, or even suspected terrorists, back to their families for burial for fear the grave would become a shrine. Instead they are usually buried anonymously by the government in an undisclosed location.
Tsarnaev’s family was considering cremating the body and trying to transport the ashes back to Russia, then burying them there. Although cremation is against Islamic law, the parents see it as the only way of burying their son’s remains, according to Heda Saratova, a human rights activist and spokeswoman for the family.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was captured alive after his brother’s death, has been charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction for his role in the attacks. He faces the death penalty.