Worcester funeral home faces scrutiny for taking body
A few dozen protestors gathered outside a Worcester funeral home Friday, angry that the business had taken in the body of Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
They carried signs, waved American flags, and chanted phrases like, "Send him back! Send him back!"
One of the women in the crowd, Michelle Lavallee, told NBC10, "May he rot in hell. He killed an innocent 8 year old boy. That's not fair. Send him back. Send him back to Russia."
Anger was directed at the Graham, Putnam,& Mahoney Funeral Home for taking the accused bomber's body. "I think it's a slap in the face to the police. I think it's a slap in the face to the city of Worcester, and to all the victims of what happened," said Kristina Naum.
But funeral home owner Peter Stefan isn't backing down. "I am burying somebody who's dead. Everybody who's dead has a right to be buried. Doesn't matter," he said.
Stefan has a reputation for serving the Muslim community, as well as the poor and downtrodden.
As for the protestors outside his door, Stefan said, "If you want to protest, that's fine. Protest all you want. But give me an option If they don't want to do this, then pass some law that when there's a murderers terrorists, you cremate them or something or throw them in a dumpster. But you're going to have to pass that law. Until then, we have to do what we do."
Stefan said he has talked to Tsarnaev's uncle, but not his widow, Katherine Russell of North Kingstown. "She's helped out where she could. But considering what's happened, she's probably staying in the background. I can't blame her," the funeral home owner said.
Stefan says the family wants to bury Tsarnaev in Boston, but several cemeteries have refused.
Before releasing the body, the medical examiner found, as expected, that Tsnaraev was killed by police gunfire and by being run over and dragged by a vehicle, presumed to be the one driven by his brother.
Stefan said the family wants a second autopsy conducted.