Plan to bury bomb suspect at state prison falls through, officials say

WORCESTER — Police and officials at the funeral home where Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body is being held say that a plan has fallen apart to bury Tsarnaev at a state prison.

According to two officials at the Graham Putnam Mahoney Funeral Parlors with knowledge of the plan, the plan was hatched on Monday, and police from the city where the prison is located met with funeral home officials Tuesday.

The plan, which called for moving the body to the prison during the early morning hours, fell apart sometime Tuesday, the officials said.


“On Monday there was a proposed offer for a burial site at a state Department of Correction facility, a plan that evaporated on Tuesday,” Police Chief Gary J. Gemme said at a news conference outside the home this morning.

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Tsarnaev family members and Worcester police met today, for the second consecutive day, searching for a place to bury the body.

Officials at the funeral home have said they are running low on options.

Ruslan Tsarni, Tsarnaev’s uncle, who washed and prayed over the body on Sunday, was secluded in the parlor’s first-floor lobby this morning, making calls in attempts to set up the burial.

US Representative James P. McGovern issued a statement this afternoon, saying the issue would be resolved and he was working on the issue.


“In the meantime, I would urge everyone to get on with their lives. I understand that emotions are still raw. But we should redirect our energies and our passions away from a dead body in a funeral parlor and back toward helping the living survivors of this terrible crime to heal,” he said in a statement.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, allegedly planted the bombs that ripped through the crowd at the Boston Marathon finish line on April 15, killing three and injuring more than 260. The brothers also allegedly assassinated an MIT police officer.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed after a confrontation with police in Watertown early on April 19. Police say they were trying to subdue him after a shootout when his younger brother drove over him in a car in a desperate escape. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arrested later the same day in Watertown. He is facing federal charges of using a weapon of mass destruction and malicious destruction of property resulting in death.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body was released last Thursday by the state medical examiner. It was first taken to a North Attleborough funeral home, then to the Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester. It has been 19 days since Tsarnaev died after a confrontation with police in Watertown. Protesters have demonstrated at the two funeral homes.

The two brothers, natives of Russia, were living in the Inman Square neighborhood of Cambridge. The younger brother was a student at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

Material from the Telegram & Gazette of Worcester was used in this report. Martin Finucane of the Globe staff contributed to this report.