4 May 2013

Wrangle over where to bury Boston bombing suspect

9:45 pm on 4 May 2013

The search is on for a cemetery in which to bury Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as protesters picket the funeral home holding his body.

The director of the funeral home - in Worcester, Massachusetts - has likened the task to burying notorious mass murderers from recent American history, the BBC reports.

According to the death certificate revealed by the home, Tsarnaev died at 1.35am on 19 April from "gunshot wounds of torso and extremities" as well as blunt trauma to the head and torso.

After being hit in a shootout with police, he was reportedly run over on the ground by his younger brother, Dzhokhar, as the latter escaped from the scene in a car.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was shot and injured during the police manhunt, remains in a prison hospital under arrest.

The brothers are accused of planting two bombs near the finishing line of the Boston Marathon on 15 April. Three people were killed and more than 260 injured in the attack.

'Everyone deserves a burial'

Funeral director Peter Stefan received the older brother's body after it was released by the Massachusetts state medical examiner on Thursday.

Tamerlan Sarnaev's wife, Katherine Russell, had declined to pick it up from the examiner's office, allowing his relatives to claim the remains instead and arrange for a funeral.

Protesters had picketed a North Attleborough funeral home to which it was brought initially, after which Mr Stefan's business received it, in the face of a new demonstration.

"Everyone deserves a burial," Mr Stefan told Reuters news agency. "It doesn't matter who it is. I can't pick and choose."

Speaking to AP, he added: "My problem here is trying to find a gravesite. A lot of people don't want to do it. They don't want to be involved with this."