updated 04/23/2013 AT 10:00 PM ET
•originally published 04/23/2013 AT 10:30 PM ET
Katherine Russell was a typical college student before she met Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
The daughter of an emergency room doctor, Katie, as she was called, grew up in a Christian household in North Kingstown, R.I., graduated at the top of her class at her high school in 2007, and said in her yearbook she wanted to go into the Peace Corps.
“The reason why I remember her is she was very nice and very smart,” her North Kingstown High art teacher, Amos Trout Paine, tells the Associated Press. “She was ready to learn.”
She is now known as the Boston Marathon bomber’s widow.
Her husband, 26, and his younger brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, are suspected in the blasts that killed three people and injured hundreds. The subsequent manhunt for the perpetrators left a university policeman dead, Tamerlan killed, and Dzhokhar captured and charged.
Katie Russell, 24, now going by Katherine Tsarnaev, and her young daughter have retreated to Katherine’s childhood home. She has not yet spoken with federal authorities, who want to question her about her husband’s activities. But Tuesday she released a statement through her lawyers.