Alleged Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was buried earlier this week at Al-Barzakh Cemetery in Doswell, Va., about 25 miles north of downtown Richmond. Doswell is a small town along Interstate 95, best known as the location of the Kings Dominion amusement park.
Some locals said they were displeased to hear the news. "They should have burned him and sent him back to his mama," 61-year-old Wayne Pierce told the Boston Globe. "I just can't believe this. I don't know how they slipped him in like this."
Tsarnaev's body was secretly removed from Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlor in Worcester, Mass., Wednesday night. The Worcester Police Department released a statement Thursday saying the body was "no longer in the city of Worcester and is now entombed." Authorities were tight-lipped about where the body went. Before its relocation the funeral home director was unable to locate a cemetery in Massachusetts that was willing to accept the remains. Protesters outside the business advocated disposing of the corpse in a landfill.
Virginia licensed counselor Martha Mullen, 48, told the Globe she was upset that "people were picketing this poor man who was just trying to help," referring to the funeral director. She contacted several cemeteries inquiring if they would accept the body. When the Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia informed her that it would provide a plot, Mullen passed the information along to the Worcester Police Department, which contacted the funeral home.
The Facebook page of the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond has several photographs of the cemetery where Tsarnaev was buried. One photo of the cemetery was posted Tuesday, the day before the alleged terrorist's body was moved, showing an empty, freshly dug grave. A member of the religious organization told U.S. News the photo does not show Tsarnaev's grave.
"Jesus tells us 'love your enemies,'" Mullen said in a press release circulated Friday by the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond. "Not to hate them even after they are dead." Mullen is a Christian who graduated from United Theological Seminary, a United Methodist Church-affiliated school in Ohio.
"[W]hat Tsarnaev did is between him and God," said an unnamed administrator of the Islamic Funeral Services of Virginia in the release. "We strongly disagree with his violent actions, but that does not release us from our obligation to return his body to the earth. ... We must all take a more positive, proactive approach with our children. We need to be in communication with them and know what they are exposed to on the Internet. As fathers and mothers, we must protect our children before they become poisoned by hatred."
A member of the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond told U.S. News "right now we don't know" if there will be increased police protection for the cemetery.
The location of Tsarnaev's grave was first reported Friday by The Associated Press, which confirmed the town's identity with Tsarnaev's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, a Maryland resident. The Globe reports that there are 47 marked and four unmarked graves in the cemetery. One of the unmarked graves is presumably where Tsarnaev is buried.
Tsarnaev died April 19 during a shootout with police. His 19-year-old brother and alleged accomplice, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, is awaiting trial on federal charges for the attack at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and maimed many others.