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Remains of Newtown Killer Claimed for Burial

The body of the man who went on a shooting spree killing 27 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary school, has been claimed for burial.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 1/1/2013, 6:28 AM

NBC News handout photo of Adam Lanza
NBC News handout photo of Adam Lanza
Reuters

The body of the man who went on a shooting spree killing 27 people at the Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, has been claimed for burial.

A spokesman for the family of Adam Lanza, who killed 20 first-grade students and six educators at the Sandy Hook Elementary School on Dec. 14, said Monday that his father, Peter Lanza, has claimed the remains of his 20-year-old son, who also killed his mother, Nancy, in their Newtown home before going on the rampage and then committing suicide.

Peter Lanza, who lives in Stamford and works as a tax director at General Electric, reportedly had not spoken to his son in over two years.

Nancy, whose funeral was held earlier this month in New Hampshire, and Peter had split up in 2001 but did not formally divorce until 2008.

Wayne Carver, chief medical examiner for Connecticut, said the location of the killer’s burial would remain undisclosed to the public.

Geneticists from the University of Connecticut have been studying Lanza's DNA for any mutations or other abnormalities that could shed light on his motivation for the shootings.

“They might look for mutations that might be associated with mental illnesses and ones that might also increase the risk for violence,” Arthur Beaudet, a professor at Baylor College of Medicine, told ABC News.

There are “some mutations that are known to be associated with at least aggressive behavior if not violent behavior,” he said.  

“I don't think any one of these mutations would explain all of (the mass shooters), but some of them would have mutations that might be causing both schizophrenia and related schizophrenia violent behavior,” said Beaudet.  “I think we could learn more about it and we should learn more about it.”

Studying the genes of murderers is controversial, however, because there is a risk that those with similar genetic characteristics could possibly be discriminated against or stigmatized.

Beaudet maintained, however, that by “studying genetic abnormalities we can learn more about conditions better and who is at risk and what might be dramatic treatments,” adding that if the gene abnormality is defined the “treatment to stop” other mass shootings or “decrease the risk is much approved.”

Although known to be shy and social inept, Lanza had not shown any violent tendencies, although he was known to spend hours in his basement playing violent video games.