(AP) Authorities in Massachusetts developed “mounting evidence” against Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, left, and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, that would place them at the scene of a brutal triple-murder in nearby Waltham on Sept. 11, 2011.
Authorities in Massachusetts have developed “mounting evidence” against the alleged Boston Marathon bombers that would place them near the scene of a grisly 2011 triple homicide that has remained unsolved.
Officials told ABC News that preliminary forensic tests link Tamerlan Tsarnaev and his younger brother, Dzhokhar, to the scene of the murders in Waltham, Mass.
Brendan Mess, 25, who at one point lived with Tamerlan and trained alongside him in both boxing and martial arts, was found dead in his home with his throat slit. The late Tamerlan had once described Mess as his best friend, though it was known that the ethnic Chechen became increasingly upset with Mess’ lifestyle choices.
Brendan Mess, who has been described as the best friend of Boston Marathon suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was found murdered in his Waltham home with his throat slit and covered in marijuana.
He, along with Erik Weissman, 31, and Raphael Tenken, 37, both of Cambridge, also had their throats slit and were covered in marijuana.
Officials at the time said the deaths were drug-related, as Mess had prior convictions and sources told the Boston Globe that Tenken also was in the drug trade. Investigators said that around five pounds of pot was dumped on their bodies, and $5,000 in cash was found in the house.
However, that theory did not hold up, as there was no evidence of forced entry at Mess’ residence. Speaking with ABC News, several law enforcement officials said that new evidence likely places the Tsarnaev brothers around Mess’ residence on Sept. 11, 2011.
Raphael Teken, 37, of Cambridge, was also found murdered.
Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan declined to comment on the new revelations, as did a public defender representing Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Former Middlesex district attorney Gerry Leone said that it was likely that the murderer knew the victims personally.
Erik Weissman, 31, of Cambridge, was the third victim in the murder. Police said that a knife or an ice pick was used with such force that the three victims were nearly decapitated.
All three had their throats slashed with either an ice pick or a knife, each with such great force behind it that they were nearly decapitated.
A possible link between the Tsarnaev brothers and the brutal murders first emerged days after the Boston Marathon bombings, which left three dead and more than 260 injured. Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, was killed in a shootout with police in Watertown on April 19.
His 19-year-old brother, Dzhokhar, escaped but was apprehended a day later after he was found hiding in a boat stored in a backyard, and is currently in federal custody at Fort Devens federal prison.
Middlesex County officials initially believed the deaths to be drug related, but turned their eyes to the Tsarnaev brothers following the April 15 marathon bombings after former acquaintences of Tamerlan said he acted suspicious after the murders
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was secretly buried this week in a small Muslim cemetery in Doswell, Va., outside of Richmond.
Following the bombing, former friends who recognized Tamerlan said that he had acted strangely following the murder of Mess and the two other men, saying that he did not attend the funeral of the man he used to call his best friend.
The FBI has joined local authorities in the ongoing investigation.