POSTED: Monday, April 22, 2013 - 11:57am
UPDATED: Monday, April 22, 2013 - 1:55pm
The wife of deceased Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is "very distraught" and "cries a lot," her lawyer told CNN on Monday.
The FBI wants to interview Katherine Russell about her husband, but for now, agents only have been able to talk to attorney Amato DeLuca.
"She knew nothing about it at any time," DeLuca told CNN's Chris Lawrence.
Russell, 24, learned through news reports that the father of her 3-year-old daughter was suspected in the attack, DeLuca said. "That's my understanding."
Hearing that news devastated her, he said.
"The whole family is a mess, to put it bluntly," he said. "They're very distraught. They're upset. Their lives have been unalterably changed. They're upset because of what happened, the people that were injured, that were killed. It's an awful, terrible thing."
Katy -- that's what family and friends call her -- lives with her parents in North Kingston, Rhode Island, and works as a home health aide, he said. "She worked many, many hours."
Their daughter lived with her husband because she worked seven days a week, he said.
"She would go off in the morning, she would work till late at night," he said. "She called to see how her daughter was and that kind of stuff, like any person would."
Russell was born and raised a Christian, but she converted to Islam after marrying Tsarnaev. She's an observant Muslim and wears a headscarf, her lawyer said.
The Russell family hired DeLuca on Saturday, after federal agents contacted them asking to interview her, he said. For now, he is the one speaking to the FBI.
"She understands the need for doing it," he said. "This is the way the government looks at it, and she understands this. It's a threat to national security, and she gets that. And she's a really good person, very sympathetic to that. Katy's just trying to bring up her daughter."
Russell may release a public statement through her lawyer soon, he said.
The family released its own statement Friday, after learning Tsarnaev had died.
"Our daughter has lost her husband today, the father of her child," the family said. "We cannot begin to comprehend how this horrible tragedy occurred. In the aftermath of the Patriots' Day horror, we know that we never really knew Tamerlane Tsarnaev. Our hearts are sickened by the knowledge of the horror he has inflicted. Please respect our family's privacy in this difficult time."