(USA TODAY) - Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, killed in a shootout with police days after the blast, has been buried at an undisclosed location, police in Worcester, Mass., said Thursday.
"As a result of our public appeal for help, a courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance needed to properly bury the deceased," Sgt. Kerry Hazelhurst said.
The announcement ends a weeklong controversy over where to bury Tsarnaev, 26, who is accused along with his brother, Dzhokhar, 19, of planting the bombs that blew up near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15. Three people died in the blasts; more than 200 were wounded.
Some graveyards in the Boston area had refused to accept the body. Hazelhurst said Tamerlan Tsarnaev's body was no longer in Worcester. Reading a statement, Hazelhurst thanked "all of the officers who worked the security detail at the funeral home and acknowledge their professionalism and dedication."
Tsarnaev's body had been at the Graham Putnam & Mahoney Funeral Parlors for a week while funeral home director Peter Stefan and Tsarnaev's uncle, Ruslan Tsarni, sought a burial sight.
The situation drew a handful of flag-waving protesters to the Worcester funeral home last weekend. One sign read: "Do not bury him on U.S. soil."
The Tsarnaevs are Muslims from the Chechen area of Russia. Tsarni has denounced them both, saying they brought shame to their family and to the Chechen community.
Tsarni has said he understood reticence about accepting the bodies for burial, saying that "no one wants to associate their names with such evil acts" the men are accused of committing.
"Tamerlan Tsarnaev has no other place to be buried. There is no other place to accept this body," Tsarni said. "He lived in America. He grew up here and for the last 10 years he decided to be in Cambridge. ... His home 'country' is Cambridge, Mass."
The funeral director, whom some people have called "un-American" for being willing to handle Tsarnaev's funeral, has said he has a professional obligation.
"We take an oath to do this. Can I pick and choose? No. Can I separate the sins from the sinners? No," Stefan said. "We are burying a dead body. That's what we do."
The state medical examiner ruled that Tsarnaev died from gunshot wounds and blunt trauma to his head and torso.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, could face the death penalty if convicted.