Female DNA has been found on at least one of the bombs from the April 15th Boston Marathon bombings. Officials have not determined who the DNA belongs to or whether it indicates that a woman was involved in the construction or planting of the bombs.
Anonymous officials say there could be any number of reasons for the DNA’s presence. It could be from a female store clerk that the Tsarnaev brothers purchased the bomb’s materials from, or it could be a hair or skin particle that dropped onto the bomb from a bystander before the bombs were detonated at the marathon finish line.
Broader possibilities aside, the FBI was in Rhode Island today collecting a DNA sample that they will test for a match. The woman being sampled is Katherine Russell, who now goes by the name Russell Tsarnaev. She was married to Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the two brothers suspected of carrying out the bombings. Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed on April 19th during a shootout with Boston area police.
Russell Tsarnaev is a Boston College dropout who had been married to Tamerlan Tsarnaev for three years. She had a child with Tamerlan, and worked as a home health aide in order to help provide for their family. She has been staying with her parents in Rhode Island since the bombings.
"The FBI is there as part of our ongoing investigation, but we aren't permitted to discuss specific aspects of our case," FBI spokesman Special Agent Jason Pack said in a statement today.
Last week, Russell Tsarnaev’s attorney Amato DeLuca said she “was doing everything she can” to assist with the investigation. Tsarnaev was seen leaving her parents Rhode Island home with DeLuca earlier today.
In related Marathon Bombing news, Dzokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old detained last week as a suspect in the bombings, has added reputable death-penalty attorney Judy Clarke to his legal team. The addition was approved by a federal judge today.
Clarke has represented a number of high profile criminals in the past. She represented Unabomber Ted Kacyzynski, Tucson shooter Jared Loughner, and Susan Smith, who drowned both of her sons in 1994. All three of the criminals are serving life-sentences in prison.