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Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body is released for Muslim funeral rites

May 03, 2013|By Michael Muskal
  • A vehicle believed to be carrying the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev backs into an underground garage at the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home in North Attleborough, Mass. The body has been moved to a different funeral home.
A vehicle believed to be carrying the body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect… (Stew Milne / Associated…)

The remains of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the men suspected of bombing the Boston Marathon, has been turned over to a funeral parlor in Worcester, Mass. for proper Muslim funeral rites.

Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a gun battle with police days after the April 15 bombing at the marathon finish line. His body was sent to the Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester, the second funeral home involved with Tsarnaev’s remains.

Peter Stefan, owner of the funeral home, confirmed to reporters on Friday that he will handle the funeral arrangements. “We take care of a lot of Muslim funerals here, throughout the state,” Stefan said, “and this was no different, except for the circumstances.”

Stefan also said he is preparing for possible demonstrations but insisted that everybody deserves a dignified burial service.

State officials released the body to the family on Thursday and Tsarnaev’s remains were initially taken to the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home in North Attleborough, Mass. About 20 protesters gathered there and the body was moved.

“The individual is no longer at our facility,’’ a woman who would give only her first name, Nina, said by telephone from the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home. “He was briefly here and he is no longer here. That is all the information we can provide,” she told the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

The state medical examiner’s office determined the cause of Tsarnaev’s death earlier this week but has not yet released the report, a spokeswoman said on Friday.

Tsarnaev, and his brother Dzhokhar, 19, are the principal suspects in the Patriot Day marathon bombings. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured in the two explosions that occurred about 100 yards apart on Boylston Street.

The explosions set off a manhunt and a lockdown of the metropolitan Boston area.

Authorities have said the brothers also killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus office and  carjacked a driver who later escaped. The brothers then drove to Watertown, Mass. where a shootout took place. In addition to the gun battle, the brothers also set off another explosive device, similar to the pressure-cooker bombs used at the marathon finish line, officials have said.

When he fled in the stolen vehicle, Dzhokhar ran over his brother. Dzhokar was captured Friday while hiding in a boat in the backyard of a Watertown home.

Dzhokhar has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and could face the death penalty if convicted. He is being held at Federal Medical Center-Devens, about 40 miles from Boston.

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