Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s family now has his body, according to the Massachusetts medical examiner’s office. A spokesman confirmed the release without saying which family member took the corpse.
Tsarnaev, 26, died in a firefight with police April 19 following an intensive manhunt after the April 15 bombings. The explosions in Boston’s Back Bay section killed three and wounded more than 260. His brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and could face the death penalty if convicted.
The cause of the older brother’s death will be made public when an official death certificate is filed by the funeral home involved, according to Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the medical examiner’s office in Boston. Harris wouldn’t say where the body was being taken for disposition.
“The body is claimed,” he said.
Local television stations that tracked the hearse that retrieved the body reported it was taken to the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. Funeral directors there didn’t immediately respond to a telephone call and an e-mail after normal business hours.
Separately, the New York Times and ABC News reported that the suspects had planned to set off their homemade bombs during Fourth of July celebrations, citing law enforcement sources they didn’t identify. The Times said the suspects finished building their pressure-cooker and pipe bombs sooner than they had anticipated, so decided to strike the marathon.
The Times said the bombs were constructed in the Cambridge, Massachusetts, apartment where Tamerlan lived with his wife, Katherine Russell, and their 2-year-old child.
Christina Sterling, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz in Boston, said she couldn’t confirm those details.
Amato DeLuca, Russell’s lawyer, has said she has been cooperating with investigators. She has moved into her parents’ home in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
In another development today, the three college friends of the younger Tsarnaev -- who face related charges --were taken to the Essex County jail in Middleton, Massachusetts, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.
The three 19-year-olds, Robel Phillipos of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Dias Kadyrbayev and Azamat Tazhayakov, who are both from Kazakhstan, all began college together with Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. The two Kazakhs have been charged with conspiring to obstruct justice by removing items from Tsarnaev’s dormitory room. Phillipos has been charged with willfully making false statements to investigators.
All four suspects are or were students at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, south of Boston.
In Washington, Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano asking how Tazhayakov re-entered the U.S. on Jan. 20, even though his student visa was canceled Jan. 4, after he had been dismissed from the school.
Grassley cited “clear gaps” in the immigration control system, and requested more information on how both were admitted to the country and how their visas were dealt with by her department.
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