A multistate enterprise dealing in body parts has been disrupted with the arrests of six people, including the manager of the morgue at Harvard Medical School, federal authorities announced Wednesday.
Cedric Lodge, 55, who managed the med school morgue, was among six people charged, along with his wife, Denise Lodge, 63, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. They are listed as residents of Goffstown, New Hampshire.
Others indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods charge were Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Massachusetts; Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania; and Mathew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel, Minnesota.
In addition, Jeremy Pauley, 41, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, was charged by criminal information, the release said.
Candace Chapman Scott of Little Rock, Arkansas, who was alleged to be part of the body parts network, was already indicted in the Eastern District of Arkansas, it said.
A statement posted on the website of Harvard Medical School called the incident an “abhorrent betrayal.”
“It is with profound sadness and distress that we write to share with you that federal authorities have accused a former Harvard Medical School employee of having engaged in activities that are morally reprehensible,” the school said.
— Beth Germano (@BethWBZ) June 14, 2023
U.S. Attorney Gerard Karam expressed similar sentiments about the case, saying in a statement, “Some crimes defy understanding,”
“The theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human,” Karam said. “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. 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.”
Karam said body parts taken from the Harvard Medical School morgue were bought and sold from 2018 to 2022 as part of a national network. The indictment alleges the body parts were shipped out of state on occasion and that at times Maclean and Taylor were allowed into the morgue to select the body parts they wanted.
Pauley was arrested in 2022 in connection with the sale of body parts stolen from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
Jeremy Pauley allegedly bought remains from a woman in Arkansas, which included a half a head, three brains with a skull cap, one heart, and more. https://t.co/1GLpaiZaz0
— True Crime Daily (@CrimeWatchDaily) August 19, 2022
The U.S. attorney’s news release said Pauley bought body parts from Scott, who obtained cadavers from a funeral home where she worked and a medical school. The release said the body parts shipped included those from “two stillborn babies who were supposed to be cremated and returned as cremains to their families.”
Pauley and Lampi are each accused of buying and selling body parts.
Pauley sold many of the stolen remains he purchased to other individuals, including Lampi, according to authorities. They said Lampi and Pauley bought and sold from each other over an extended period of time and exchanged over $100,000 in online payments.
“The defendants violated the trust of the deceased and their families all in the name of greed,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire said in a statement.
“Robbing families of the remains of their loved ones is an unconscionable act and confounds our collective sense of decency,” said Christopher Nielsen, the inspector in charge of the Philadelphia division of the Postal Inspection Service. “Using the United States mail to facilitate the theft and shipment of human remains is a federal crime and the Postal Inspection Service will do everything in its power to stop it.”
A criminal complaint said the object of the conspiracy was “to profit from the interstate shipment, purchase, and sale of stolen human remains,” according to WBZ-TV in Boston.
Prosecutors allege Maclean “agreed to purchase two dissected faces for $600” from Lodge in October 2020. The complaint said Maclean shipped human skin to Pauley in Pennsylvania in 2021 and “engaged his services to tan the skin to create leather.”
The complaint also alleged that on Nove. 20, 2020, “Taylor sent Denise Lodge $200 with a memo that read, ‘braiiiiiins.’”
The statement posted on the website of the Harvard Medical School said authorities believe Lodge acted “without the knowledge or cooperation of anyone else at HMS or Harvard.”
“We have been working with information supplied by federal authorities and examining our own records, particularly the logs showing when donor remains were sent to be cremated and when Lodge was on campus, to try to determine which anatomical donors may have been impacted,” said the statement, which was attributed to George Q. Daley, dean of the faculty of medicine, and Edward M. Hundert, dean for medical education.
“We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus — a community dedicated to healing and serving others.”
Read more on the indictment and arrest of a former HMS employee for the unlawful transport of stolen human remains. https://t.co/D1HzdVM77E
— Harvard Medical School (@harvardmed) June 14, 2023
“We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus — a community dedicated to healing and serving others,” they said.
“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.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
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