Female DNA has been found on at least
one of the Boston Marathon bombs, but investigators have not determined
whose it is or whether it indicates a woman helped the two brothers
blamed for the deadly April 15 blasts, USA TODAY has confirmed.
official, who asked not to be identified because the investigation was
ongoing, said there could be multiple explanations, including a store
clerk who handled materials that Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger
brother, Dzhokhar, used to make the bombs, or perhaps genetic material
that unwittingly ended up on the explosive devices, perhaps from a
The Wall Street Journal first reported the find.
Monday, FBI agents went to a Rhode Island home to collect a DNA sample
from Katherine Russell Tsarnaeva, the widow of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who
died in a shootout with police April 19. She has been staying with her
parents since the bombings.
The sample will be compared with the genetic material recovered.
FBI is there as part of our ongoing investigation, but we aren't
permitted to discuss specific aspects of our case," said FBI spokesman
Special Agent Jason Pack.
Agents left her parents' home in North
Kingstown with several bags. Russell Tsarnaeva left with her attorneys
through a separate door, the Associated Press reported.
Last week, attorney Amato DeLuca said she was "doing everything she can" to assist the investigation.
Tsarnaeva, a Boston college dropout, converted from Christianity to
Islam before marrying Tamerlan Tsarnaev three years ago and later giving
birth to a daughter. She supported the family by working as a home
Her attorneys said previously that Russell and her family were shocked when the Tsarnaev brothers emerged as suspects.
Tsarnaev, 19, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction
and is being held in a U.S. prison medical facility at Fort Devens,
about 40 miles west of Boston. He was wounded either during the
gunbattle that killed his brother or during the manhunt before his
capture the night of April 19.
Monday, a federal judge approved
the addition of a prominent death-penalty lawyer, Judy Clarke, of San
Diego, to Tsarnaev's legal team. A request for a second
capital-punishment expert was denied.
Clarke assisted Jared
Loughner, who is serving a life sentence for the Tucson, Ariz.,
shootings that killed six and wounded 13, including former congresswoman
Gabby Giffords. She also defended Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, and
Susan Smith, who drowned her two young sons in 1994. They, too, are
imprisoned for life.