The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

State and Nation

May 10, 2013

Boston bombing suspect buried in Virginia cemetery

(Continued)

Local officials asked Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli to look into whether any laws were broken in carrying out the hushed burial. If not, there's likely nothing they can do.

"If there were, I think we'd try to undo what's been done," Thomas said.

Lane Kneedler, an attorney who represented the Virginia Cemetery Association when the law was drafted to regulate for-profit cemeteries in the late 1990s, said private burial grounds only have to meet local zoning requirements. Mike Finchum, planning director for Caroline County, did not immediately return a voice mail message.

Kneelder said that once a cemetery is approved and operating, only its owner controls who is buried there. The Virginia Department of Health has no say on cemetery operations, spokeswoman Maribeth Brewster said.

Tsarnaev's death certificate was released Friday. It shows he was shot by police in the firefight the night of April 18, run over and dragged by a vehicle, and died a few hours later on April 19. Authorities have said his brother ran over him in his getaway attempt.

He was pronounced dead at a hospital in Boston, where he could have been buried under state law, because the city was his place of death. But Boston officials said they wouldn't take the body because Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen from Russia, lived in Cambridge, and Cambridge also refused.

His mother also said Russia refused to allow his body into the country so she could bury him in her native Dagestan, but Russian authorities would not comment on that contention.

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