Relatives of the dead Boston Marathon bombing suspect will claim his body now that his wife has agreed to release it, an uncle said yesterday.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body has been at the medical examiner’s office in Massachusetts since he died after a gun fight with authorities more than a week ago.
Amato DeLuca, the Rhode Island lawyer for his widow, Katherine Russell, said in a statement yesterday his client had just learned that the medical examiner was ready to release Tsarnaev’s body.
Mr DeLuca said that she want the body released to the Tsarnaev family.
Police said Tsarnaev ran out of ammunition before his brother, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, dragged his body under a vehicle while fleeing the scene.
His cause of death has been determined but will not be made public until his remains are claimed.
“Of course, family members will take possession of the body,” uncle Ruslan Tsarni of Montgomery Village, Maryland, said.
“We’ll do it. We will do it. A family is a family.”
Tsarnaev’s parents are still in Russia, but he has other relatives on his side of the family in the US, including Mr Tsarni.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev lies in a prison hospital after being wounded in the shoot-out with police as he and his brother made their getaway attempt.
He is charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, a crime that carries a potential death sentence.
Mr DeLuca said Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s widow met law enforcement officers “for many hours over the past week” and will continue co-operating.
Yesterday FBI agents visited her parents’ North Kingstown, Rhode Island, home, where she has been staying, and carried away several bags.
In addition to declining to claim the body herself, which is her right as his spouse, Ms Russell has taken other steps to distance herself from Tsarnaev since taking refuge at her family’s home on April 19, hours after her husband was killed.
Her family released a statement shortly after she was escorted home by federal agents that day saying they “never really knew” Tsarnaev.
Ms Russell has also reverted to using her maiden name instead of the name listed on her marriage certificate, Tsarnaeva.
Yesterday Mr DeLuca said that Ms Russell mourned the loss of life from the bombings.
“Katherine and her family continue to be deeply saddened by the harm that has been caused,” Mr DeLuca said.
Terrel Harris, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, said that the state had not yet received Ms Russell’s request to release her husband’s body.
He said arrangements must be made to release the body and once that happens a death certificate will be filed and the cause of death made public.