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Police Chief: 'We Are Not Barbarians;' Bury Bombing Suspect

NPR icon by Mark Memmott
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Saying that "we are not barbarians, we bury the dead," the police chief of Worcester, Mass., on Wednesday appealed for someone in authority to clear the way for the body of Boston Marathon bombings suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev to be buried.

As we've reported, Worcester funeral director Peter Stefan has been contacting cemeteries not only in Massachusetts but elsewhere in the U.S. and Canada in an effort to find a place to inter Tsarnaev's remains. But when he calls officials of the cities or towns involved, "nobody wants the body," as The Associated Press has reported.

Wednesday, WBUR writes, Worcester Police Chief Gary Gemme said a deal to bury the body at a prison site was reached on Monday, then "dissolved" on Tuesday. He also issued his appeal for help.

According to the AP, Worcester police estimate it's costing "tens of thousands of dollars to provide security at the funeral home that is holding Tsarnaev's body, and [say that] officer details are wasting precious resources."

The April 15 bombings killed three people and wounded more than 250. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, are the main suspects. Authorities say they also killed an MIT police officer four days later. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died after a gun battle with police on April 19. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured later that day. He is being held at a federal prison hospital facility in Massachusetts. The younger brother faces a charge of using a weapon of mass destruction.

Note at 1:04 p.m. ET: A few minutes after we posted, the AP moved a new version of its story. The new version includes this line: "Police said it's costing the department tens of thousands of dollars to provide security at the funeral home that is holding Tsarnaev's body." Earlier, the AP had written that police said it's costing tens of thousands of dollars "a day."

We've edited the post above to remove the reference to tens of thousands of dollars "a day."

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