Link to 2011 Murders Probed in Tsarnaev Case

April 22, 2013 Updated: April 23, 2013

Link to 2011 murders: Federal authorities are investigating a possible link between Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev and three murders in 2011.

In 2011, authorities discovered the bodies of three people, including a friend of Tsarnaev’s, with their throats slashed and covered with marijuana. Thousands of dollars in cash were also left at the crime scene.

Authorities said the victims appeared to have let the killer into their apartment.

“This is an active investigation and we will look at any new leads,” Stephanie Guyotte with the Middlesex County district attorney, told The Daily Telegraph. “We cannot comment specifically on suspects or persons of interest, including any connection of Tamerlan Tsarnaev to the case.”

One of the victims was Brendan Mess, a 25-year-old neighbor who used to train with Tsarnaev at a Boston martial arts facility. At one point, Tsarnaev called Mess his “best friend.”

“We’re eager to pursue any new leads of information. It has been reported he knew one of the deceased victims. It remains an open and active investigation,” Guyotte also told the Boston Globe.

The three were killed on or around the 10-year anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

A relative, however, said that the killings took place on the evening before the anniversary, saying that he was texting one of the victims about a football game between the New York Jets and the Dallas Cowboys.

“The three of them were definitely killed on Sept. 11,” the relative, who was not named, told the paper. “They all stopped using their cellphones at about eight o’clock that night.”

Tsarnaev was also interviewed by the FBI and in 2011, the agency said it “did not find any terrorism activity, domestic or foreign, and those results were provided to the foreign government,” according to CNN.

Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who was killed early on Friday, and his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, are accused of masterminding the Boston Marathon twin bombings that left three people dead and 170 wounded.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended on Friday night after a massive police manhunt. He was taken to a Boston hospital and is said to be in serious condition.

On Monday, he was charged with using a weapon of mass destruction and related counts. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

“Although our investigation is ongoing, today’s charges bring a successful end to a tragic week for the city of Boston and for our country,” said Attorney General Eric Holder, according to the Globe. “We’ve once again shown that those who target innocent Americans and attempt to terrorize our cities will not escape from justice. We will hold those who are responsible for these heinous acts accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”