BOSTON — A Massachusetts funeral director said Monday that he has received burial offers from out-of-state cemeteries for the body of a Boston Marathon bombing suspect who was killed in a gun battle with police, even as Tamerlan Tsarnaev's mother told him she wants the body returned to Russia.
Worcester funeral home director Peter Stefan said despite the request, he doesn't think Russia will take Tsarnaev's body and he is working on other arrangements. He declined to be more specific.
Stefan said he plans to ask for a burial in the city of Cambridge, where Tsarnaev lived. But Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy urged the Tsarnaev family not to make a request.
"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," Healy said in a statement Sunday.
Stefan also said he had out-of-state burial offers but declined to give details, adding he was worried protests will rise any place that agrees to the burial, as they have at his own funeral home.
The founder of the organization that built Colorado's largest mosque, Sheikh Abu-Omar Almubarac, says he is offering to bury Tsarnaev in a Denver-area Muslim cemetery. He says he'll bury Tsarnaev as long as his family can get the body to Denver.
If Russia refuses to accept the body, Cambridge may be forced to take it, said Wake Forest University professor Tanya Marsh, an expert in U.S. law on the disposal of human remains.
Massachusetts law requires every community to provide a suitable place to bury its residents, she said. Cambridge's appeal to the family not to ask it to bury the body is likely a way to set up its defense if the family goes to court to try to force the burial, Marsh said.
Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, are accused of carrying out the bombings using pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards. The attack on April 15 killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the marathon's finish line.