TODAY   |  April 20, 2013

Family of man who found suspect speaks out

Robert Duffy, stepson of the man who discovered Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in his boat Friday, tells TODAY’s Lester Holt about the crucial moment of discovery.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> suspect dzhokhar tsarnaev is in custody this morning thanks to the quick thinking of a watertown, massachusetts, resident who noticed something suspicious in his backyard. david henneberry called police after noticing blood. your mom and stepdad live down the road. a 20-foot boat wrapped up for the winter in shrink wrap. what did your stepdad notice yesterday?

>> after the in-home ban was lifted they wanted to get out and get fresh air . a beautiful day yesterday. they went into the backyard. moms to go a position in the chair in the sun that was available and david was walking around in the backyard. he noticed as the wind had picked up that the tarp was loose on the boat, which was not normal. walked over for a closer glimpse and noticed one of the retention straps had actually been cut. it hadn't worn or come free. it was cut. there was a small amount of blood on the tarp from what i understand. he then took his step ladder that he used to usually inspect the boat.

>> didn't dawn on him someone might be in there. he takes a look and what does he see?

>> he sees a small pool of blood and again it was partly sunny yesterday and under the tarp of the boat couldn't get a really good view of what he saw but he saw something hunched down toward the forward of the boat and his mind instantly did the right thing. he didn't try to be a hero. he went to call police.

>> did he know that was the bomber?

>> at that point i still don't believe he knew what was really going down.

>> he goes back in the house. police come. he's in the house when police are surrounding his place.

>> police are walking up and down the street. the tactical teams. they were all doing a great job. they had been through the neighborhood all day long multiple times. they had no idea how many times if this suspect had been in this boat.

>> when the gunfire breaks out, your mom and stepdad are still in the house?

>> no.

>> they got them out?

>> exactly. they were evacuated immediately after they made the phone call . they were taken to a safe place . i'm assuming a local neighbor's house. from that point the residential phone was off the hook whether it was disconnected or what not. cell phones were left behind . my sister and i were left in a moment of horror.

>> are you watching tv at this point?

>> i got a phone call from a friend that says doesn't your mom live on franklin street and literally there's the satellite image of the house.

>> you are trying to get ahold of them.

>> horrified.

>> did they hear the action the night before?

>> not at all. i was explaining to you prior to the interview. i called my mother and woke her up at 6:30 in the morning. we had doctor appointments to attend to that we knew weren't going to happen. i told her to turn the television on and she looked out the door and saw the s.w.a.t. teams coming up and down the street at that point. they had no clue what had unfolded in the evening.

>> david is a real hero. we're glad they're okay and everything worked out and no further loss of life.

>> absolute elation.

>> send them our best.

>> i will. thank you.