FBI agents visited the widow of suspected Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev at her family’s home in North Kingstown, R.I., today.
Authorities have reportedly been interested in talking to Katherine Russell, who married Tsarnaev three years ago, to find out what she knows about the plot to bomb the Boston Marathon on April 15.
“The FBI is there as part of our ongoing investigation, but we aren’t permitted to discuss specific aspects of our case,” the agency said in a statement.
Three people were killed and more than 260 more were injured when two bombs exploded near the finish line on Patriots Day, 12 seconds apart.
Tsarnaev, 26, died several days later after a late-night showdown with police, while his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was captured after a daylong manhunt that shuttered much of the Boston area. The brothers also allegedly killed an MIT police officer. The younger brother, who was wounded in the shootout is now in a federal prison medical center at Fort Devens, facing charges that could bring him the death penalty.
The Wall Street Journal and CBS News reported today, citing unnamed sources, that investigators went to the Rhode Island home to collect a DNA sample from Russell in order to compare it with female DNA found on fragments from at least one of the bombs that exploded at the marathon. It’s also possible the DNA came from a retail clerk who sold some of the materials in the bombs, a marathon spectator, or some other source, the reports noted.
Russell, who was originally from Rhode Island, lived with Tsarnaev and their 3-year-old child in Cambridge near Inman Square. Her parents still live in Rhode Island.
Her attorneys could not be reached today. But they previously issued a statement saying that Russell was “doing everything she can to assist with the investigation” and was struggling to come to terms with the bombing and her husband’s death.
No one has yet claimed Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s body, which is in the custody of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, said Department of Public Safety spokesman Terrel Harris. The examiner has determined a cause of death, but won’t release the information until the body has been claimed, Harris said.
Tsarnaev’s parents, who are now living in Russia, initially indicated they planned to visit the United States to claim the body and visit their other son, Dzhokhar, but have since postponed their plans indefinitely.
After FBI agents left Russell’s home this afternoon, Russell exited with her attorneys through a separate door, NECN-TV reported.