There may be no place for the body of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev to go, according to a May 5 ABC News report.
Tsarnaev has been dead since April 19 after the dramatic showdown with police in Watertown, Mass., but officials and his family still don’t know where Tsarnaev will be buried.
However, the list of non-takers is adding up.
On Sunday, city officials in Cambridge, Tsarnaev’s home in the United States, announced that the city’s cemetery would reject his body for burial. Other local cemeteries also said they do not want his remains in their plots.
“The difficult and stressful efforts of the citizens of the city of Cambridge to return to a peaceful life would be adversely impacted by the turmoil, protests and widespread media presence at such an interment,” Cambridge city manager Bob Healy said in a statement provided to the Los Angeles Times. “The families of loved ones interred in the Cambridge Cemetery also deserve to have their deceased family members rest in peace.”
America has not taken easily to burying its least-popular criminals. In the years after Sept. 11, 2001, remains of the hijackers languished unclaimed in undisclosed locations.
In 1997, Congress passed a law tailored to prevent the 1995 Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, a veteran, from being buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Tsarnaev’s body is similarly unwanted. His widow, Katherine Russell, declined to claim his body. His parents, in Russia and skeptical of their sons’ involvement in the attacks, have expressed apprehension at returning to the U.S. to deal with his death and the prosecution of his younger brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar.
Uncle to the suspect, Ruslan Tsarni of Maryland, called the two “losers” and said their conduct brought shame to all Chechens.
Protesters gathered outside the Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlor in Worcester, Mass. over the weekend, where Tsarnaev’s body is currently being held, demanding that he be moved out of their community.
Replying to the protests, Tsarni said: “Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried. A dead person needs to be buried. That’s what tradition requires, that’s what religion requires, and I guess that’s what morals require. He was a person; now he is a deceased. I’m left alone to deal with this matter.”
As of Sunday evening, per Islamic custom, Tsarnaev’s body had been washed and shrouded in sheets, according to local media. But where his body goes next is unclear.