Harvard morgue manager charged with selling human body parts

A significant scandal has unfolded at Harvard Medical School’s morgue. Federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania revealed the indictment of five individuals involved in the trade of human body parts.

Among the accused are Cedric Lodge, 55, a morgue manager at the school, and his wife, Denise Lodge, 63, from Goffstown, New Hampshire.

According to the indictment, Cedric Lodge masterminded an elaborate theft and sale of body parts from donated cadavers between 2018 and early 2023. These body parts, including heads, brains, skin, and bones, were taken without the school’s knowledge or consent. Authorities acknowledged the cooperation of the school during the investigation.

Lodge was said to have transported the stolen body parts back to his home, sometimes mailing them to buyers. On occasion, he even allowed buyers to select the body parts they wanted directly from the morgue.

In their post-use protocol, Harvard Medical School typically cremates bodies donated for educational, teaching, or research purposes and returns the ashes to the donor’s family or inter them in a cemetery.

Also implicated in the charges are Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Massachusetts; Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania; and Mathew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel, Minnesota.

The five individuals are facing charges of conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods. The prosecutors allege that these suspects were part of a wider network dealing in stolen human remains, not only from Harvard Medical School but also from an Arkansas mortuary.

Taylor is alleged to have transported the stolen body parts back to Pennsylvania on several occasions, while the Lodges also sent remains via mail to him and others. Maclean and Taylor were found to have resold the stolen remains for profit.

Two other individuals, Jeremy Pauley, 41, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, and Candace Chapman Scott, from Little Rock, Arkansas, were previously charged in relation to this case.

Authorities allege Scott, an employee at a mortuary, stole body parts from cadavers intended for cremation, many of which were donated for research and educational purposes by a medical school in Arkansas.

Pauley was accused of purchasing some of these stolen remains from Scott and then reselling them, involving transactions with individuals such as Lampi. Pauley and Lampi reportedly had transactions spanning an extended period, with over $100,000 changing hands via online payments.

Both Scott and Pauley have entered not guilty pleas in response to the charges.