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Tamerlan Tsarnaev funeral home searches for burial place

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, is shown in this file photo. He is a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings that killed three people and injured more than 260 others. (The Sun of Lowell, Mass| FBI/AP Photo)
May 5, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Tsarnaev family is preparing to bury Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, though making arrangements is proving difficult.

Tsarnaev's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, arrived Sunday at the Worcester funeral home housing Tsarnaev's body to make the burial arrangements. Stefan says Tsarni plans to wash and perform Muslim burial rites on his nephew's body.

According to Peter Stefan, director of the funeral home, he has received calls from people criticizing him and calling him "un-American" for being willing to handle the funeral.

"We take an oath to do this. Can I pick and choose? No. Can I separate the sins from the sinners? No," he said. "We are burying a dead body. That's what we do."

Cemeteries across the Northeast have refused to bury the body. Stefan told "Good Morning America" his efforts to find plots in New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts have been fruitless.

"Is he a terrorist? Sure he is a terrorist, but I can't control what he did. But the person is dead, and burying a dead body, that's all it is," Stefan said.

Stefan has received out-of-state offers to provide a grave and to contribute money toward the funeral expenses. Stefan said he plans to ask the city of Cambridge, where Tsarnaev lived, to provide a burial plot. If Cambridge declines, he will turn to state officials for help.

Tsarnaev was killed in a gun fight with police in the days following the marathon bombings. According to his death certificate, made public Friday, Tsarnaev died of gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso. Police have said he ran out of ammunition before his younger brother, Dzhokhar, dragged his body under a vehicle while fleeing the scene.

Dzhokhar, 19, is in a prison hospital, facing a potential death sentence if convicted of the terrorism plot.

Tsarni has denounced the acts that his nephews are accused of committing, and has said they brought shame to the family and the entire Chechen ethnicity.

Meantime, the FBI returned to Tsarnaev's Cambridge home Sunday to conduct another search, officials confirmed to ABC News.

Christina Sterling, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney General's Massachusetts Office said a "court authorized search" was conducted and that it is "part of the ongoing investigation into the marathon bombings."

ABC News and the Associated Press contributed to this report.


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