The body of alleged Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, remains at Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlor in Worcester, Mass., and the funeral home's director is telling news outlets that he seems to be stuck with the corpse.
Tsarnaev died April 19 during a shoot-out with police. His 19-year-old brother and alleged accomplice, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is awaiting federal charges for the April 15 attack at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and maimed many others.
Ruslan Tsarni, the uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers who memorably denounced his nephews as "losers" following Tamerlan Tsarnaev's death, is advocating a burial in Cambridge, Mass.
"Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried," Tsarni, who lives in Maryland, told the Boston Globe on Sunday. "He lived in America. He grew up here and for the last 10 years he decided to be in Cambridge, therefore any contemplation that the body should be taken to a home country . . . his home country is Cambridge, Mass."
Muslim tradition requires a burial and does not allow for cremation.
Funeral director Peter Stefan told the Globe he's been turned down by four cemeteries with Muslim sections. "I'm going to go to the governor and the FBI and say, 'You need to stop playing games with this,'" Stefan said Sunday.
The FBI and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick responded that it's unclear what they could do about the situation.
"I have refrigeration. I can hold him for a long time," Stefan told The Boston Herald on Monday. "It'd be a great idea if we could send him to Russia, but I would have to have something from the State Department. This is a national security situation. We can't just send a body over like we're dumping it."
Stefan told CNN that he suspects local cemeteries "probably fear reprisals from people who have loved ones being buried there, people who may potentially buy lots there."
The Herald reports that Tsarnaev's mother, Zubeidat Tsarnaeva, called Stefan in tears on Sunday, saying, "It would be nice if you could get him home."
One Worcester man announced Monday his intention to raise enough money to send Tsarnaev's body back to Russia.
Local activist William Breault told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette and other publications that he would kick off the fundraiser with a $500 donation, and would solicit donations from others to raise the estimated $3,000 to $7,000 to transport the body.
"We don't want him buried here in the city," Breault told the Telegram & Gazette. "We will appeal to the residents of Worcester, Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the nation to return his body to his Russian homeland. ... I look at it as I'm helping the citizens of Boston, Worcester and this state move on."
It's not immediately clear how Breault will be accepting donations, but by noon EDT Monday he claimed to have raised $1,500, WFXT-TV reported in a tweet.
If the fundraiser flops, Georgetown University professor of Islamic studies John Esposito told CNN that one culturally acceptable option would be burying Tsarnaev without a headstone.