Mass. Gov.: Burial for suspected terrorist is not state or federal issue

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May 6, 2013, 4:55 pm
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(NECN: Jen Eagan, Worcester, Mass.) - The body of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev remains at a Worcester, Mass. funeral home Monday. His family is unable to find a city in which to bury the body, and they're not getting any help from the state.

One community activist is pitching a plan. It’s a plan to fly the body overseas.

Six Worcester police officers have been stationed outside the funeral home since Friday, around the clock, to deal with protesters and all of the traffic this has been attracting. The Worcester Police Department says those details have already cost about $30,000.

The funeral home itself, Graham Putnam & Mahoney, has been the subject of unwanted attention.

The funeral director, Peter Stefan, isn’t getting much help on finding a place to bury Tamerlan’s body. So far, the handful of cemeteries that Peter Stefan has reached out to have all refused to accept the suspected terrorist’s body.

“I understand the cemeteries position; they don’t want to bury him. And I understand it totally, but we have to come up with some sort of conclusion to bury this guy. It can’t continue,” Stefan said.

Tamerlan’s body has been at the Worcester funeral home since Friday, making it the target of protesters. On Monday, community activist William Breault announced he started a fund with a goal of collecting enough money to fly Tamerlan back to Russia.

“I feel I have the right to stand up here and say that we want him removed to his homeland,” Breault said.

It’s unclear if that’s even a feasible option, but he says it would cost anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000.

Stefan was hoping from the state or federal government.

But Governor Deval Patrick says the government isn’t getting involved.

“This isn’t a state or a federal issue. It’s a family issue, and the family has some options, and I assume they will make a decision soon,” Gov. Patrick said.

Tamerlan’s uncle has told reporters he believes his nephew should be buried in
Cambridge where he lived, but the city manager of Cambridge is urging the family not to make a request for a burial there because it would just cause that community too much turmoil.

Tags: massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick , worcester massachusetts, jen eagan, Boston bombing suspects, Tamerlan Tsarnaev
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