The body of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was the subject of a massive manhunt and died after a gunbattle with police, was claimed on Thursday.
US Department of Public Safety spokesman Terrel Harris said a funeral home retained by Tsarnaev’s family picked up the 26-year-old’s remains. He said he had no more information about plans for the remains.
The medical examiner determined Tsarnaev’s cause of death on Monday, but officials said it would not become public until his remains were released and a death certificate was filed. It was unclear on Thursday evening whether the death certificate had been filed.
Tsarnaev’s widow, Katherine Russell, who has been living with her parents in Rhode Island, learned this week that the medical examiner was ready to release his body and wanted it released to his side of the family, her attorney Amato DeLuca said.
Tsarnaev’s uncle Ruslan Tsarni, of Maryland, said on Tuesday night the family would take the body.
“Of course, family members will take possession of the body,” Tsarni said. “We’ll do it. We will do it. A family is a family.”
After the hearse believed to be carrying Tsarnaev’s body departed Boston, television stations reported that their helicopters followed it to the Dyer Lake Funeral Home where about 20 protesters had gathered. An Associated Press photographer later reported seeing a hearse leaving the home escorted by two police cars.
Dyer Lake funeral director Tim Nye told the Sun-Chronicle newspaper late on Thursday that the body was only brought to his funeral home temporarily and was transported to another facility, but did not say where.
Tsarnaev, who had appeared in surveillance photos wearing a black cap and was identified as the principle suspect in the bombing, died days after the bombing.
The April 15 attack, using pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards near the marathon’s finish line, killed three people and injured more than 260 others.
US authorities said Tsarnaev and his younger brother later killed a Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer and carjacked a driver, who escaped.