The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 10, 2013

Boston bombing suspect buried in Virginia cemetery

(Continued)

The Islamic Society of Greater Richmond didn't immediately respond to an email seeking confirmation that it was involved in the burial.

At least one neighbor was unaware the cemetery was even there.

Jaquese Goodall, who lives less than a quarter-mile away down a winding country lane, said a rope usually blocks the gravel road leading to the cemetery. She had no idea when the body was buried and never saw hearses enter or leave the property.

"If they didn't want him in Boston, why did they bring him all the way down here against our wishes?" said Goodall, 21, who has lived in the area all her life.

"I am worried because his people may come down here to visit and there will be a whole lot of problems from him being here," said Goodall, a Baptist.

Caroline County Sheriff Tony Lippa was concerned, too, that the grave site could become a target for vandals and a shrine for those who sympathize with Tsarnaev, forcing his lean department — rural Caroline County's primary law-enforcement agency — to use money and officers it doesn't have guarding the secluded, private cemetery.

"I know of no Virginia law enforcement agency that was notified. No one in county or state government was aware of this," Lippa said.

Desecrating the grave, he said, is a felony. Merely trespassing onto the private property of the cemetery is a misdemeanor, he said.

Floyd Thomas, the chairman of Caroline County's board of supervisors, considered Tsarnaev's possible burial a black mark against the county, where President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was cornered and killed 148 years ago.

"This was a horrific act, a terrible crime," Thomas, speaking at a news conference, said of the Boston Marathon bombing. He said he didn't want Caroline to be remembered as the final resting place of one of the bombing's alleged perpetrators.

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