This week, female DNA on a bomb detonated at the Boston Marathon this month, killing three and injuring hundreds, was discovered by forensic investigators — leading to widespread speculation that the device and the attack may have been handled by unknown collaborators.
The female DNA on the bomb was somewhat of an interesting find, as the two men believed to be responsible for the bombing are either deceased or in custody.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a standoff at MIT the Thursday after the bombing — and is brother Dzhokhar remains under tight guard in a prison hospital 50 miles outside Boston.
But the deceased Tsarnaev was married, to an American woman named Katherine Russell. The pair have a three-year-old daughter, and Russell has been understandably grieving away from the public eye after her husband was killed in a confrontation with police in Boston.
Russell was speculated to be the source of the female DNA on the bomb, which is not a very difficult to conceive of circumstance given she lived with Tamerlan Tsarnaev until his death and could have easily and unwittingly handled explosive components.
Yahoo reports that while the female DNA on the bomb may seem conclusive, the finding is hardly a smoking gun. Even if the DNA was left before the explosion, the site notes, it could have come from any female in range of the device, even at the point of sale.
The site adds:
“The authorities are looking at a range of possibilities, two senior law enforcement officials said, including that [Katherine Russell Tsarnaev] could have — wittingly or unwittingly — destroyed evidence, helped the bombers evade capture, or even played a role in planning the attacks … While the authorities do not believe the bombers were tied to a larger terrorist network or had accomplices, they remain skeptical that others did not know of their plans or did not help them destroy evidence.”
So far, investigators have not disclosed whether the female DNA on the bomb has been linked to any specific person.