The Harvard Medical School mortuary director allegedly stole heads, brains, skin and other body parts and sold them, according to a federal indictment filed Wednesday.
Cedric Lodge allegedly stole the remains of corpses donated to the prestigious university for scientific research and education.
The filing says Lodge took the dissected body parts to his home in Goffstown, New Hampshire, where he and his wife Denise sold them as part of a nationwide human remains trafficking ring.
Some of the remains were even shipped through the United States Postal Service.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office believes Lodge engaged in the illegal trafficking of human remains between 2018 and August 16, 2022 while working at the morgue as part of the university’s anatomical donation program.
Several buyers were also named in the indictment, including Jeremy Pauley
Cedric Lodge allegedly stole cadaver remains 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 of this year.
The school is currently working with federal authorities to determine which donors may have been affected and has set up a hotline for donor families to access information and support.
Harvard insists that no other school employees face charges or are suspected of wrongdoing.
Several buyers were also 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 was left to buy,” the indictment reads.
Maclean is also accused of selling the remains he obtained to other buyers in several states, including 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 leather from it before sending it back to Maclean.
The indictment says Pauley transferred $8,800 to MacLean and 25 payments totaling $40,049.04 to Taylor through PayPal.
Pauley, 40, had previously been arrested and charged with abusing a corpse, receiving stolen property and selling the proceeds of illegal 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 the remains he obtained to other buyers in several states, including Jeremy Pauley.
Pauley, 40, had previously been arrested and charged with abusing a corpse, receiving stolen property and selling the proceeds of illegal activities last summer.
Pauley also purchased body parts stolen from a crematorium in Little Rock, Arkansas, by Candace Chapman Scott, according to a Department of Justice statement.
Scott is accused, among other things, of having taken away the corpses of two stillborn babies whose remains were to be cremated.
Pauley, in turn, resold many of the remains to others, according to the indictments.
Pauley is the owner of The Grand Wunderkammer – a shop that sells “strange and unusual” items to the public and museum exhibits. He is also the executive director and curator of the Memento Mori Museum, according to his Facebook.
He was arrested last June after police learned of suspicious activity by Pauley and his collections.
The caller said he found “several” five-gallon buckets of human remains in Pauley’s basement.
Investigators then recovered the remains, which included human brains, hearts, livers, skin and lungs.
The counts listed in the grand jury indictment against the Lodges, MacLean and Taylor include conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen property.
“Some crimes defy belief,” U.S. 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 victims here have 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 exploited in the name of profit is appalling. With these charges, we are seeking some measure of justice for all of these victims.
In a statement, George Q. Daley, the dean of Harvard Medical School, described Lodge’s behavior as “a heinous betrayal” and “morally wrong.”
“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, more importantly, of each of the individuals who have selflessly chosen to bequeath their bodies to HMS through the Anatomical Donation Program to advance medical education and research. “
Adding: “We are truly sorry for the pain this news will cause the families and loved ones of our anatomical donors, and HMS is committed to engaging with them during this deeply distressing time.”