Manager of Harvard Medical School's Morgue Stole and Sold Body Parts in 'Heinous' Crime Network, Feds Say
For years, the Harvard Medical School morgue manager stole and sold body parts, federal authorities allege. The gruesome thefts came from people who had donated their bodies to science before their deaths, and the manager has been fired, officials said.
The former manager of Harvard Medical School's morgue has been charged with stealing and selling body parts from corpses donated for medical research, federal authorities said.
Cedric Lodge, 55, and his wife, Denise, 63, were both charged with conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods in an alleged scheme in which the former manager allowed buyers into Harvard's morgue to pick which dissected body parts they wished to purchase, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
“Some crimes defy understanding,” U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam said in a statement released Wednesday. “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," the prosecutor said.
Lodge also allegedly stole body parts including heads, brains, skin and bones, and brought them to his New Hampshire home, where he and his wife then sold and shipped them to customers, federal authorities said.
Harvard officials called the allegations "an abhorrent betrayal."
In a joint statement to the Harvard Medical School community, Edward M. Hundert, dean for medical education and George Daley, dean of the faculty of medicine, said, "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."
Harvard officials assisted in the federal investigation, they said. Lodge was fired on May 6, the statement said. "Lodge acted without the knowledge or cooperation of anyone else" at Harvard, the release said. The Lodges were allegedly part of a national network operating from 2018 to early 2023, according to federal authorities. The indictment announced this week also charged 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.
Lodge said nothing as he left a New Hampshire federal court Wednesday, carrying a copy of his indictment.
According to federal authorities, Jeremy Pauley, 41, of Pennsylvania, was also charged with buying and selling stolen remains. Candace Scott, who was previously indicted by a federal grand jury in Little Rock, Arkansas, in connection with the alleged network, was accused of selling and stealing body parts from a mortuary and crematorium where she once worked.
In May, Scott, 36, was charged with 12 federal counts including mail fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property, federal authorities announced at the time.
Pauley, 41, had previously been arrested by Pennsylvania authorities and charged with purchasing body parts such as lungs, hearts, brains and fetuses, police said. He has pleaded not guilty to those state charges and was freed on $50,000 bond, according to online records
Scott allegedly contacted Pauley in October 2021 and offered to sell him remains, according to her May federal indictment. "Just out of curiosity, would you know anyone in the market for a fully intact, embalmed brain?" Scott wrote to Pauley in a Facebook message, that indictment contended.
Inside Edition Digital left a phone message Friday with Pauley's attorney seeking comment. Scott's lawyer, George Morledge, told The New York Times his client had pleaded not guilty and was in jail, awaiting a mental health evaluation.
“Before we start jumping to conclusions about what was going on with Ms. Scott, we need to let this play out in the court system," Morledge told The Times.
Inside Edition Digital also reached out Friday to the attorney representing Cedric Lodge. Taylor's lawyer, Christopher Opiel, declined comment to Inside Edition Digital.
It was not clear Friday if Denise Lodge, Maclean and Lampi have current legal counsel, according to online federal court documents.
The next scheduled court hear for the defendants is June 27, according to court records.
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