A 36-year-old former mortuary worker from Arkansas, Candace Chapman Scott, has entered a not guilty plea in response to allegations that she sold stolen body parts. She allegedly took the body parts from medical school cadavers and sold them to a Pennsylvania man, earning her nearly $11,000.
Scott is facing a total of 12 criminal charges. Currently jailed, Scott awaits a hearing on her bail release scheduled for Tuesday.
Jeremy Lee Pauley, the buyer from Enola, Cumberland County, confessed to purchasing two batches of human remains from Scott, asserting that he is a collector of “oddities” and believed the transactions were legal. The pair connected through a Facebook group dedicated to “oddities.”
Previously employed at Arkansas Central Mortuary Services, Scott was responsible for transporting, cremating, and embalming remains. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has confirmed that the mortuary received cadavers donated for medical students to study.
The indictment claims that Scott initiated contact with Pauley in October 2021, offering to sell him body parts from the medical school that were intended for cremation and return. Over nine months, Scott allegedly sold Pauley various body parts, including fetuses, brains, hearts, lungs, genitalia, and large skin pieces, earning $10,975 from 16 separate PayPal transfers.
Prosecutors argue that Scott should remain in custody until her trial, with Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Jegley stating that the serious nature of the allegations and potential public outcry could motivate Scott to flee.
Pennsylvania officials unraveled the scheme after receiving complaints about Pauley last year.
Leslie Taylor, a spokesperson for the medical school, expressed gratitude towards federal authorities for charging Scott. Taylor referred to those who donate their bodies for medical research as “true heroes,” considering them the largest victims in this crime due to the donations’ importance in medical education. She added that the FBI has not informed the school if any remains have been identified, as embalming makes DNA identification extremely difficult.