Uncle of Boston bombing suspects has local ties

by: Alison Grande Updated:

FERNDALE, Wash. —

When a Ferndale couple watched the manhunt for the Boston bombing suspects, they saw a familiar face.

Turns out the uncle of the suspects, Ruslan Tsarni, used to live across the street from Jim and Victoria Baum in Ferndale.

They watched Tsarni speak to reporters about the nephews he has had little contact with in recent years.

“It must be just devastating to him," said Victoria Baum.

Tsarni told reporters he was ashamed of them. He urged his younger nephew to surrender. "I say Dzhokhar, if you're alive, turn yourself in and ask for forgiveness," said Tsarni.

The Baums say Tsarni lived across the street with his wife and three children back in 2003. Tsarni's an attorney who spent much of his time working in Washington D.C.

Jim Baum was puzzled about why the men would want to attack U.S. citizens. He said, "Why they'd want to pick on the American community, I don't know the Americans have opened their hearts to the Chechens."

He wonders if it's possible the men witnessed violence when they used to live in Chechnya.  To that Tsarni said no way, "No. This has nothing to do with Chechnya. Chechnyans are different. Chechnyans are peaceful people."

The Baums hope their former neighbor, along with the rest of the country, are able to get answers now that the remaining suspect is in custody.