WASHINGTON, May 6 (RIA Novosti) – The mother of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev over the weekend called the Massachusetts funeral home where his body is currently being held and said she wants his remains to be shipped to Russia, the director of the facility said Monday.
“The woman was in tears,” Peter Stefan, director of the Graham Putnam Mahoney Funeral Parlor in the city of Worcester, 40 miles (64 kilometers) west of Boston, told the Boston Herald.
“She just said, ‘It would be nice if you could get him home,’” Stefan was quoted as saying. “She’d love to have him back there, obviously. Regardless of what he did, she’s still his mother. What are you going to say to her? What can you say?”
Cemeteries in Massachusetts have refused to provide a gravesite for Tsarnaev, 26, an ethnic Chechen who is suspected together with his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar of planting two bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured more than 260 on April 15.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was detained later on April 19 following a massive manhunt in and around Boston, and is being held at a prison medical facility in Massachusetts.
The parents of the brothers are currently living in Russia’s mainly Muslim republic of Dagestan, and Stefan told local media that the alleged bomber’s body had been cleansed and wrapped in the Muslim tradition.
“I have refrigeration. I can hold him for a long time,” Stefan told The Boston Herald. “It’d be a great idea if we could send him to Russia, but I would have to have something from the State Department. This is a national security situation. We can’t just send a body over like we’re dumping it.”
Stefan did not return a message RIA Novosti left with his office seeking comment Monday, but he told the Herald that he spoke with Tsarnaev’s mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, by telephone Sunday.
The exasperated funeral parlor director said he would be willing to pay the few thousand dollars necessary to ship the remains to Russia.
“My question is, is someone going to do something once I get him there? Not go back and forth and hold him there because he’s a terrorist or whatever,” Stefan told The Boston Herald. “That day, have a service, a burial and end it. This is becoming an international political football.”
Stefan’s comments came on the same day that a community activist in Worcester launched a drive to drum up several thousand dollars to send Tsarnaev’s body to Russia.
The community activist, William Breault, told a news conference Monday that he had already contributed $500 of his own money to a fund that he estimates will need to collect between $3,000 and $7,000 dollars to ship the remains. “I feel good about doing that,” Breault said. “As an American, I feel I have a right to stand up here and say we want him moved to his homeland.”
Tsarnaev’s body was released by the authorities on Thursday and later taken to Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester after originally having been taken to a different funeral parlor, where about 20 protesters gathered, The Associated Press reported.
Tsaranev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsami, who in the days following the bombing talked about the “shame” his nephews had brought on the family, arrived in Massachusetts from Maryland over the weekend to claim the body and try to arrange burial rites for Tamerlan.