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Harvard Medical School morgue manager accused of selling human body parts | US News

A former morgue manager at Harvard Medical School, his wife and three other people have been charged over the theft and sale of human body parts.

Cedric Lodge, 55, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, stole dissected portions of cadavers that were donated to the school between 2018 and 2023, according to court documents.

The body parts were taken without the university’s knowledge or permission, federal prosecutors said, adding that Harvard has cooperated with the investigation.

Lodge sometimes took the body parts – which included heads, brains, skin and bones – back to his home where he lived with his wife, Denise, 63, and some remains were allegedly sent to buyers by post.

He is also accused of allowing customers to come to the morgue to pick what remains they wanted to buy.

Bodies donated to Harvard Medical School (HMS) are used for education, teaching or research purposes.

Once they are no longer needed, the cadavers are usually cremated and the ashes are returned to the donor’s family or buried in a cemetery.

Read more: ‘Frankenstein’ cadaver centre sold body parts to the military for explosives testing

In a message posted on the school’s website entitled “An abhorrent betrayal”, deans George Daley and Edward Hundert called the matter “morally reprehensible” adding that Lodge was fired on 6 May.

“We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus – a community dedicated to healing and serving others,” the deans wrote.

Denise and Cedric Lodge are accused of selling body parts from Harvard Medical School morgue. Pic: AP
Denise Lodge (left) is accused of selling body parts from Harvard Medical School morgue. Pic: AP

“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.”

The indictment charges the Lodges and three others – Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Massachusetts; Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania; and Mathew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel, Minnesota – with conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods.

According to prosecutors, the defendants were part of a nationwide network of people who bought and sold remains stolen from the school and an Arkansas mortuary.

Foetuses seized as part of FBI body parts investigation

Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School

The Lodges allegedly arranged to sell the remains to Maclean, Taylor, and others via telephone calls and social media.

Taylor sometimes transported stolen remains back to Pennsylvania, authorities said, while on other occasions, the Lodges would post remains to him and others.

Maclean and Taylor then allegedly resold the stolen remains for profit.

Denise and Cedric Lodge both made their initial court appearances on Wednesday in Concord, New Hampshire, and were each released on bail.

They declined comment as they left.

In addition to the five defendants already mentioned, two others have been charged in the case.

Jeremy Pauley, age 41, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, allegedly bought some remains from Candace Chapman Scott, of Little Rock, Arkansas, who allegedly stole them from a mortuary where she worked.

Jeremy Pauley has been arrests for selling human remains on Facebook. Pic: East Pennsboro Township Police Department
Jeremy Pauley has been arrested for selling human remains on Facebook. Pic: East Pennsboro Township Police Department

Authorities have said Scott stole body parts from cadavers she was supposed to have cremated, noting many of the bodies had been donated to and used for research and educational purposes by a medical school in Arkansas.

Pauley allegedly sold many of the stolen remains to other people, including individuals, including Lampi.

Pauley and Lampi bought and sold from each other over an extended period of time and exchanged more than $100,000 in online payments, authorities said.

Scott and Pauley both pleaded not guilty.

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