An East Bethel man is among six people federally charged with trafficking human remains stolen from Harvard Medical School from cadavers, many of which had been donated for medical research.
The thefts and sales of body parts went on for years and included the remains of two stillborn babies who were supposed to be cremated and returned as cremains to their families.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that Cedric Lodge, age 55, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, Katrina Maclean, age 44, of Salem, Massachusetts, Joshua Taylor, age 46, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania, Denise Lodge, age 63, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, and Mathew Lampi, age 52, of East Bethel, Minnesota, were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods charges. Additionally, Jeremy Pauley, age 41, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, was charged by criminal information, and Candace Chapman Scott, of Little Rock, Arkansas, was previously indicted in the Eastern District of Arkansas.
According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, the indictments and information allege that a nationwide network of individuals bought and sold human remains stolen from Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary. The charges allege that from 2018 through 2022, Lodge, who managed the morgue for the Anatomical Gifts Program at Harvard Medical School, located in Boston, Massachusetts, stole organs and other parts of cadavers donated for medical research and education before their scheduled cremations. Lodge at times transported stolen remains from Boston to his residence in Goffstown, New Hampshire, where he and his wife, Denise Lodge, sold the remains to Katrina Maclean, Joshua Taylor, and others, making arrangements via telephone and social media websites. At times, Cedric Lodge allowed Maclean and Taylor to enter the morgue at Harvard Medical School and examine cadavers to choose what to purchase. On some occasions, Taylor transported stolen remains back to Pennsylvania. On other occasions, the Lodges shipped stolen remains to Taylor and others out of state.
Maclean and Taylor resold the stolen remains for profit, including to Jeremy Pauley in the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Pauley also purchased stolen human remains from Scott, who stole remains from her employer, a Little Rock, Arkansas mortuary and crematorium. Scott stole parts of cadavers she was supposed to have cremated, many of which had been donated to and used for research and educational purposes by an area medical school, as well as the corpses of two stillborn babies who were supposed to be cremated and returned as cremains to their families. Scott sold the stolen remains to Pauley and shipped them to Pauley in the Middle District of Pennsylvania. Pauley sold many of the stolen remains he purchased to other individuals, including Lampi. Lampi and Pauley bought and sold from each other over an extended period of time and exchanged over $100,000 in online payments.
“Some crimes defy understanding,” said United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam. “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 and advance the interests of science and healing. For them and their families to be taken advantage of in the name of profit is appalling. With these charges, we are seeking to secure some measure of justice for all these victims.”
U.S. Attorney Karam also noted in his remarks that Harvard Medical School was also a victim in the scheme and said they cooperated with the investigation.
“The defendants violated the trust of the deceased and their families all in the name of greed,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Jacqueline Maguire. “While today’s charges cannot undo the unfathomable pain this heinous crime has caused, the FBI will continue to work tirelessly to see that justice is served.”
“Today, the United States Attorney has announced charges against several individuals who used the United States mail to ship stolen human remains,” added Christopher Nielsen, the Inspector in Charge of the Philadelphia Division of the Postal Inspection Service. “Robbing families of the remains of their loved ones is an unconscionable act and confounds our collective sense of decency. Using the United States mail to facilitate the theft and shipment of human remains is a federal crime and the Postal Inspection Service will do everything in its power to stop it. I want to thank our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney for working with the Postal Inspection Service to stop this group, and I hope our efforts bring a small amount of relief to the victimized families.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to attempt to identify and contact as many of the victims and victims’ families affected by this case as possible. If anyone believes they or a family member may have been affected by the conduct charged in these indictments and information, contact the Victim and Witness Unit at HFNCNZ.Ivpgvz.Vasbezngvba@hfqbw.tbi or (717) 614-4249.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the East Pennsboro Township Police Department, and the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean A. Camoni is prosecuting the case.
It’s unclear from the U.S. Attorney’s press release if any of the suspects are currently in custody.
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