The Caroline County (Va.) Sheriff's Office said Saturday that it had found no evidence that any laws were broken when Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of two suspects in last month's Boston Marathon bombings, was buried in a private Muslim cemetery in Doswell.
“It would appear that all paperwork is in order at this point. I am still awaiting return phone calls from the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond, Islamic Funeral Services and Worcester (Mass.) Police Chief Gary J. Gemme,” Sheriff Tony Lippa said in a statement released Saturday night.
Lippa said that his office had reviewed a number of documents related to Tsarnaev's death, including the suspect's death certificate, burial permit, a permit issued by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts allowing the body to be removed from that state, and deeds recorded in the Caroline County Circuit Court. Lippa said he met Friday night with David Storke, a funeral home owner and mayor of Bowling Green -- Caroline County's seat -- to review the relevant documents.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown, Mass. in the early morning hours of April 19, was buried in a donated plot at the Al-Barzakh Cemetery. The burial was supervised by his uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, of Montgomery Village, Md., who told News4's David Culver off camera that he "buried him with my own hands." Tsarni traveled to Massachusetts last weekend to meet with funeral director Peter Stefan, who had been searching for a jurisdiction that would accept the body of the man believed to have planted one of two bombs that exploded near the Boston Marathon finish line April 15. Three people were killed and 264 were injured in the blasts.Tamerlan Tsarnaev's younger brother, Dzokhar, who officials believe planted the second bomb, was injured in the Watertown shootout and remains in custody.
Caroline County deputies guarded the cemetery for part of the day Friday, but Lippa said that he would not keep them there indefinitely.
"The Sheriff's Office will offer the same amount of protection, no more and no less, to this site as any other Cemetery in Caroline County," Lippa's statement read.
"There are many options available for the owners of the cemetery, at their own cost, to provide additional security should they choose to do so. The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office cannot, nor will we, divert our limited resources towards the protection of a single gravesite, especially one belonging to that of a terrorist.“
No incidents at the cemetery have been reported.