Heads, brains, skin, bones and other human remains of loved ones who donated their bodies to scientific research have been stolen and sent to buyers using the US postal service, it has been revealed.
The shocking disclosure came after FBI agents arrested six people on suspicion of trafficking stolen human body parts — including remains from cadavers at Harvard Medical School.
Cedric Lodge, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, who worked as the morgue manager at Harvard Medical School, was among those arrested and indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday. Denise Lodge, his wife, was also taken into custody, as was Katrina Maclean from Salem, Massachusetts.
Three other suspects – Pennsylvania residents Joshua Taylor and Jeremy Pauley, along with Minnesota resident Matthew Lampi – were also indicted for their alleged involvement in the trafficking, according to reports issued by Fox News.
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It has been alleged by agents that Lodge stole organs and other body parts from cadavers donated for medical research and education before the remains went for cremation. It was alleged that he would sometimes take the stolen remains from Boston to his New Hampshire home between 2018 and 2022. Authorities said he and his wife would then sell them.
The indictment also alleged that the suspects discussed their activities on social media. “At times [Lodge] stole dissected portions of donated cadavers, including, for example, heads, brains, skin, bones, and other human remains,” the indictment read.
Lodge was accused of permitting Maclean and Taylor to visit the morgue, pick which parts of cadavers they wanted to buy, and then remove them. Many of the remains were reportedly shipped through the US Postal Service.
Maclean, who allegedly sold the remains to buyers across the country, operated a business called Kat’s Creepy Creations. “I am an artist of horror, macabre, oddities, and everything creepy,” her business’ Facebook page read.
He also reportedly bought two “dissected faces” from Lodge for $600. In another, she allegedly shipped human skin to Jeremy Pauley, so he could turn it into leather. The indictment states that Pauley allegedly sent over $40,000 to Taylor via Paypal. Fox reported that a total of $37,355.56 was sent by Taylor to an account operated by Denise Lodge, with memos including statements like “head number 7” and “braiiiiiins.”
A spokesperson for Harvard Medical School said: “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, 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.We are so very sorry for the pain this news will cause for our anatomical donors’ families and loved ones, and HMS pledges to engage with them during this deeply distressing time.”