The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 10, 2013

Boston bombing suspect buried in Virginia cemetery

(Continued)

Martha Mullen, of Richmond, Va., told The Associated Press in a brief telephone interview that she offered to help after seeing news reports about towns and cemeteries refusing to allow burial. She said she is not the only person who helped with arrangements.

"It was an interfaith effort," she said. "Basically because Jesus says love your enemies."

The cemetery is hidden among the rural woods and hills of Caroline County, about 30 miles north of Richmond, and contains only 47 graves in all. All were covered with reddish-brown mulch except for two that appeared newly dug, neither with any kind of marking and one of them presumably Tsarnaev's.

On one of the new graves lay a vase full of roses at one end and a single red rose at the other end. The other new grave was bare.

A news helicopter hovered overhead, along with a swarm of television news trucks in what is ordinarily a tranquil meadow in a large, wooded section within sight of a roller coaster at the Kings Dominion amusement park along Interstate 95.

It was not immediately clear who owned the cemetery in Doswell. The Virginia Cemetery Board, a government agency, regulates only for-profit cemeteries. Cemeteries owned by churches and government entities are not required to have a state-issued license.

Imam Ammar Amonette, of the Islamic Center of Virginia, said that his group was never consulted and that Mullen reached out to a separate group, the Islamic Society of Greater Richmond.

"The whole Muslim community here is furious. Frankly, we are furious that we were never given any information. It was all done secretly behind our backs," Amonette said, adding that it "makes no sense whatsoever" that Tsarnaev's body was buried in Virginia.

"Now everybody who's buried in that cemetery, their loved ones are going to have to go to that place," he said.

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