Details of Death Released For Boston Bombing Suspect

By: CBS News Email
By: CBS News Email

CBS Web Copy

Updated 9:01 PM ET

BOSTON A suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings died from gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso, his death certificate says.

Worcester funeral home owner Peter Stefan has 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body and read details from his death certificate on Friday. The certificate cites Tsarnaev's "gunshot wounds of torso and extremities" and lists the time of his death as 1:35 a.m. on April 19, four days after the deadly bombing, Stefan said.

Tsarnaev died last month after a gunfight with authorities a few days after the deadly marathon bombing. Police have said he ran out of ammunition before his younger brother dragged his body under a vehicle while fleeing the scene.

Tsarnaev's family was making arrangements for his funeral as investigators searched the woods near a college attended by his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, on Friday.

The funeral parlor in Worcester is familiar with Muslim services and said it will handle arrangements for Tamerlan Tsarnaev, whose body was released by the state medical examiner Thursday night.

A human rights activist who is in contact with Tsarnaev's parents in Russia says that they are searching for an independent coroner in the United States, CBS News correspondent Elaine Quijano reported.

The body was taken initially to a North Attleborough funeral home, where it was greeted by about 20 protesters. Stefan, owner of Graham Putnam and Mahoney Funeral Parlors in Worcester, an hour's drive west of Boston, said everybody deserves a dignified burial service no matter the circumstances of his or her death and he is prepared for protests.

"My problem here is trying to find a gravesite. A lot of people don't want to do it. They don't want to be involved with this," said Stefan, who said dozens of protesters gathered outside his funeral home, upset with his decision to handle the funeral. "I keep bringing up the point of Lee Harvey Oswald, Timothy McVeigh or Ted Bundy. Somebody had to do those, too."

Tsarnaev died three days after the bombing in a furious getaway attempt in which authorities say he and his brother, ethnic Chechens from Russia who came to the United States about a decade ago, killed an MIT campus police officer and tossed homemade bombs and grenades at police. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, ran over his brother's body as he drove away from the scene to escape, authorities have said.

In related news, Katherine Russell, the 24-year-old widow of bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, said nothing to reporters as she left her parents' Rhode Island home Friday, Quijano reported. Investigators are combing through her cell phone records and laptop computer, trying to determine what she did or didn't know about the marathon bombings and when. Sources close to the investigation say DNA and fingerprints found on bomb fragments from the scene are not a match to Russell, whom authorities are not calling a suspect, said CBS News correspondent John Miller.

Federal agents Friday searched areas in and around the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth where bombing suspect Dzhokar Tsarnaev attended college. Law enforcement sources say they are interested in place where the accused bombers may have tried testing explosives. So far, the searches have turned up nothing.

Regarding the news that the FBI sent a team to Dagestan, where the Tsarnaev brothers are from, Miller added that two people have emerged to be of interest to the FBI.

"One is a former Canadian boxer," he said. "His life story basically tracks Tamerlan's almost exactly. He's a fighter, he's a convert from Russia, moves to Canada, goes back to Dagestan and wants to fight against the Russians in Chechnya. He's ultimately killed in that fighting. We know he and Tamerlan were in touch on social media and were in Dagestan and Chechnya in and around the same time.

"The second is another person fighting against the Russian regime there," Miller continued. "He ends up being killed in a hostage situation where he tosses out a hand grenade after releasing the hostages. The FBI is kind of looking at Tamerlan's trip as was that a place where he was radicalized? Or is that a place where he said 'It's too rough over here with these people getting killed; I'm going to go back to America and try something on home turf.'"

Meanwhile, two U.S. officials said Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told interrogators that he and his brother initially considered setting off their bombs on July Fourth.

Boston police said they planned to review security procedures for the Independence Day Boston Pops concert and fireworks display, which draws a crowd of more than 500,000 annually and is broadcast to a national TV audience. Authorities plan to look at security procedures for large events held in other cities, notably the massive New Year's Eve celebration held each year in New York City's Times Square, Massachusetts state police spokesman David Procopio said.

Gov. Deval Patrick said everything possible will be done to assure a safe event.

"I think the most important thing is that we got them, and there's investigation continuing about where the other leads may lead," he said. "I can tell you, having been thoroughly briefed, that the law enforcement at every level is pursuing everything."

As part of the bombing investigation, federal, state and local authorities were searching the woods near the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus, where Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was a student. Christina DiIorio-Sterling, a spokeswoman for U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz, could not say what investigators were looking for but said residents should know there is no threat to public safety.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was found hiding in a tarp-covered boat in a suburban Boston backyard, faces a charge of using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. Three of his college classmates were arrested Wednesday and accused of helping after the bombing to remove a laptop and backpack from his dormitory room before the FBI searched it.

The April 15 bombing, using pressure cookers packed with explosives, nails, ball bearings and metal shards, killed three people and injured more than 260 others near the marathon's finish line.

The brothers considered setting off their bombs on July Fourth but decided to carry out the attack sooner when they finished assembling the bombs, the surviving suspect told interrogators after he was arrested, according to two U.S. officials briefed on the investigation. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Investigators believe some of the explosives used in the attack were assembled in Tamerlan Tsarnaev's home, though there may have been some assembly elsewhere, one of the officials said. It does not appear that the brothers ever had big, definitive plans, the official said.

The brothers' mother insists the allegations against them are lies.

Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security ordered border agents to immediately begin verifying that every international student who arrives in the U.S. has a valid student visa, according to an internal memorandum obtained Friday by The Associated Press. The new procedure is the government's first security change directly related to the Boston bombings.

The order from a senior official at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, David J. Murphy, was circulated Thursday and came one day after President Barack Obama's administration acknowledged that one of the students accused of hiding evidence, Azamat Tazhayakov, of Kazakhstan, was allowed to return to the U.S. in January without a valid student visa.

Tazhayakov's lawyer has said he had nothing to do with the bombing and was shocked by it.

A benefit concert featuring Aerosmith, James Taylor and Jimmy Buffett is scheduled for May 30 at the TD Garden in Boston. The proceeds will go to The One Fund, which has taken in more than $28 million for those injured and the families of those who were killed.

The fund's administrator, Kenneth Feinberg, said Friday he plans to hold meetings with victims next week and begin cutting checks by the end of June.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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