Add the city of Cambridge to the list of places refusing to bury the body of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a firefight with authorities on April 19, a day after the FBI publicly released photos and videos of Tsarnaev and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhkokhar Tsarnaev, whom the bureau suspected of carrying out the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15.
Tsarnaev’s body was released to the Graham Putnam & Mahoney funeral home in Worcester, Mass., on Thursday night, but the funeral parlor has had difficulty finding a place of rest for the Boston bombing suspect’s body.
The 26-year-old’s body has been denied requests for burial at a number of cemeteries around the Boston area. The city of Cambridge also rejected taking in the body of the Chechen native, according to Cambridge City Manager Robert Healy.
“Under the state law ... ‘it shall be the duty of the city manager to act as chief conservator of the peace within the city.’ I have determined that it is not interest of ‘peace within the city’ to execute a cemetery deed for a plot within the Cambridge Cemetery for the body of Tamerlin Tsarnaev,” Healy said in a statement.
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Tsarnaev’s uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, who despite calling his nephews “losers” in a remark shortly after the Tsarnaevs were identified as Boston bombing suspects, said Tamerlan deserved to be buried in Cambridge.
Tsarni said, although Tamerlan has roots in Chechnya, he emigrated to America a decade ago and strongly identifies with the Boston suburb.
“He lived in America. He grew up here, and for the last 10 years he decided to be in Cambridge, therefore, any contemplation that the body should be taken to a home country ... his home country is Cambridge, Mass.,” Tsarni said, according to the Boston Globe.
Meanwhile, a Worcester community activist is collecting donations so Tsarnaev’s body can be buried in his native Kyrgyzstan or near his parents in Dagestan.
William T. Breault, the activist, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette that he would set up a fund to pay for the burial and that he would contribute $500. He said Tsarnaev does not deserve to be buried in the Boston area.
“I don't look at it as I'm helping his family,” Breault said of setting up the fund. “I look at it as I'm helping the citizens of Boston, Worcester and this state move on from this problem.”
Peter A. Stefan, the embalmer of Tsarnaev’s body, said protesters were picketing his funeral home for accepting the body but added that the decision was not made with politics and the circumstances of Tsarnaev’s death in mind.
Stefan appealed to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and even the White House for help on finding a final resting place for Tsarnaev.
“I need some help here,” he said Sunday, according to the Boston Herald. “I’ve taken heat on this from day one. You want to criticize me, fine. Criticism is cheap. Give me an idea.”
Tamerlan’s brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, escaped the firefight but was captured later in the day on April 19 hiding in the back of a boat in a backyard in Watertown, Mass. He is currently facing two terrorism-related charges.