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Boston bomb suspect's widow wants Tsarnaev family to get remains

Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, is pictured in 2010 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is pictured in an undated FB
Tamerlan Tsarnaev (L), 26, is pictured in 2010 in Lowell, Massachusetts, and his brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, is pictured in an undated FB

By Svea Herbst-Bayliss

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island (Reuters) - The widow of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev wants a medical examiner to release his remains to the Tsarnaev family, her lawyer said on Tuesday.

"It is Katherine Russell's wish that his remains be released to the Tsarnaev family, and we will communicate her wishes to the proper authorities," Amato DeLuca said in a statement.

Investigators have questioned Russell as they seek clues about how Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, allegedly built the bombs and whether they had help.

The 24-year-old widow, who returned to her family in Rhode Island days after the blasts, has spent hours meeting with FBI agents at her home and at her lawyer's office in Providence.

Police say the ethnic Chechen brothers set off twin bombs on April 15 that ripped through the crowd watching the race, killing three and injuring 264. The elder brother died in an April 19 gun battle with police, while the younger brother was arrested a day later and has been charged with crimes that carry the possibility of the death penalty.

"In the coming days, Katherine will continue to meet with law enforcement, as she has done for many hours over the past week, and provide as much assistance to the investigation as she can," DeLuca said.

On Monday, FBI investigators took DNA samples from the Russell home in North Kingstown. Officials are trying to determine who else may have handled the pressure cookers that contained the bombs after they found a woman's DNA on at least one of them, an official said.

Also on Monday, an autopsy on Tamerlan Tsarnaev determined precisely how he died after a bloody shootout with police but the results can't be made public until the body is claimed, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Medical Examiner said. The spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment on Tuesday evening.

Authorities and the public have been waiting to learn whether Tsarnaev died in a hail of police bullets or whether he was run over by his younger brother when the younger Tsarnaev fled in an SUV the pair had allegedly stolen.

The brothers' parents, now living in Russia, said on Sunday that they have abandoned initial plans to come to the United States to claim their older son's body and visit their younger son, who is currently being held at a prison medical facility.

But the young men have other family, including uncles, living in the United States.

(Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Scott Malone and Eric Beech)

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