Federal authorities are closely scrutinizing the activities of the wife of the dead Boston Marathon bombing suspect in the days before and after the attacks.
The authorities are looking at a range of possibilities, two senior law enforcement officials said, including that she could have — wittingly or unwittingly — destroyed evidence, helped the bombers evade capture or even played a role in planning the attacks. As part of the investigation, FBI agents are trying to determine whether female DNA found on a piece of a pressure cooker used as an explosive device in the attacks was from Katherine Russell, the wife of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the officials said.
One of the officials said a fingerprint had also been found on a bomb fragment and that investigators had tried to collect DNA and fingerprint samples from several people whom the authorities are scrutinizing in addition to Russell.
Federal authorities took a sample of Russell’s DNA on Monday in Rhode Island, where she has been staying with her parents, the officials said.
The focus on Russell is part of the wider effort by the FBI to determine who else may have played a role aiding the bombers.