The morgue manager at Harvard Medical School allegedly stole heads, brains, skin and other body parts and sold them, according to a federal indictment filed on Wednesday.
Cedric Lodge is said to have stolen the remains from cadavers donated to the prestigious university for scientific research and education.
The filing states that Lodge took the dissected body parts to his home in Goffstown New Hampshire, where he and his wife Denise, sold them on as part of a national network of human remains traffickers.
Some of the remains were even shipped through the United States Postal Service.
U.S. Attorney’s Office believe Lodge to have engaged in the unlawful trafficking of human remains between 2018 through to August 16, 2022 whilst working in the morgue as part of the university’s Anatomical Gift Program.
Cedric Lodge (pictured) is said to have stolen the remains from cadavers donated to the prestigious university for scientific research and education.
Several buyers have also been named in the indictment including Jeremy Pauley (pictured)
Cedric Lodge is said to have stolen remains from cadavers donated to Harvard Medical School for scientific research and education
Lodge had worked at Harvard since 1995 until the Medical School terminated his employment on May 6 this year.
The school is now working with federal authorities to determine which donors may have been effected and have set up a hotline for donor’s families to access information and support.
Harvard insist that no other employees at the school are facing charges or are suspected of any wrongdoing.
Several buyers have also been named in the indictment including Joshua Taylor, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania and Katrina MacLean, of Salem, Massachusetts, who owned and operated a business called Kat’s Creepy Creations in Peabody, Massachusetts.
‘At times, Cedric Lodge used his access to the morgue to allow Katrina MacLean, Joshua Taylor and others to enter the morgue and choose what remains to purchase,’ the indictment states.
Maclean is also accused of selling on the remains he obtained to other buyers in multiple states including to Jeremy Pauley of Enola and Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
In October 2020 Maclean sold two dissected faces and skin to Pauley for $600, who was hired to tan the skin and make it into leather before shipping it back to Maclean.
The indictment states that Pauley transferred $8,800 to MacLean and 25 payments totaling $40,049.04 to Taylor via PayPal.
Pauley, 40, had previously been arrested and charged for abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property and dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities
Alleged buyer Katrina MacLean, of Salem, Massachusetts, who owned and operated a business called Kat’s Creepy Creations in Peabody, Massachusetts
Maclean is also accused of selling on the remains he obtained to other buyers in multiple states including to Jeremy Pauley
Pauley, 40, had previously been arrested and charged for abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property and dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities last summer.
Pauley also purchased body parts that were stolen from a crematorium in Little Rock, Arkansas, by Candace Chapman Scott, according to a statement from the Department for Justice.
Scott is accused of, among other things, taking the corpses of two stillborn babies whose remains were due to be cremated.
Pauley, in turn, resold many remains to others, the indictments allege.
Pauley is the owner of The Grand Wunderkammer – a shop which sells ‘odd and unusual’ items to the public and to museum exhibits. He is also the executive director and curator at The Memento Mori Museum, according to his Facebook.
He was arrested last June after police received a tip about Pauley’s suspicious activity and his collections.
The caller said they found ‘several’ five-gallon buckets of human remains in Pauley’s basement.
Investigators later recovered the remains, that included human brains, hearts, livers, skin, and lungs.
Charges listed in the grand jury indictment of the Lodges, MacLean and Taylor include conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods.
‘Some crimes defy understanding,’ United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam said in a statement about the indictments.
‘The theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human.
‘It is particularly egregious that so many of the victims here volunteered to allow their remains to be used to educate medical professionals and advance the interests of science and healing.
Adding: ‘For them and their families to be taken advantage of in the name of profit is appalling. With these charges, we are seeking to secure some measure of justice for all these victims.’
In a statement George Q. Daley, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Harvard described Lodge’s behavior as ‘an abhorrent betrayal’ and ‘morally reprehensible.’
‘We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus — a community dedicated to healing and serving others.
‘The reported incidents are a betrayal of HMS and, most importantly, each of the individuals who altruistically chose to will their bodies to HMS through the Anatomical Gift Program to advance medical education and research.’
Adding: ‘We are so very sorry for the pain this news will cause for our anatomical donors’ families and loved ones, and HMS pledges to engage with them during this deeply distressing time.’