Harvard Morgue Manager and Associates Charged With Trafficking Human Remains, Sold Parts via Facebook and PayPal

A former employee at the Harvard Medical School morgue has been charged with selling human remains from donated bodies and allowing buyers to choose which parts they wanted, according to federal prosecutors.

The morgue’s manager, Cedric Lodge, was part of a massive nationwide network that bought and sold human remains stolen from the university’s medical school. From 2018 to 2022, Lodge and his wife, Denise Lodge, stole the corpses, removed parts such as the head, brain, skin, and bones, and sold them to their accomplices. They would also allow their buyers to come into the morgue and pick whichever parts they had their eye on.

One of the main buyers, Katrina Maclean, allegedly agreed to purchase two human faces for a total of $600. Prosecutors also stated Maclean kept the remains she purchased and resold them through her store, Kat’s Creepy Creations, which sells "creations that shock the mind & shake the soul" according to her Instagram page. A second buyer named Joshua Taylor sent more than $37,000 to Denise for body parts between September 2018 and July 2021.

Taylor had also added memos to his payments describing what he wanted. A payment for $1,000 came with a memo that read “head number 7,” and another for $200 that said “braiiiiiins.” The operation allegedly also involved buyers purchasing stillborn babies that were supposed to be cremated and returned to their families.

“Some crimes defy understanding,” Gerard M. Karam, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, said in a statement. “The theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human.”

Two deans from Harvard Medical School told students in a statement that Lodge and his accomplices acted independently and no one else on campus knew of what was happening.

“We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus — a community dedicated to healing and serving others,” the deans wrote in their statement. “The reported incidents are a betrayal of H.M.S. and, most importantly, each of the individuals who altruistically chose to will their bodies to H.M.S. through the Anatomical Gift Program to advance medical education and research.”

One of the men involved in the trafficking ring, Jeremy Pauley, reached a plea deal in his case. According to CBS 21, Pauley will plead guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and interstate transportation of stolen property. Pauley had also purchased remains from Candace Chapman Scott of Little Rock, Arkansas, who was indicted in May.

Pauley could face up to 15 years in prison, a $500,000 fine, and three years of supervised release, as well as admit his guilt in open court.

The U.S. Attorney's office is working to reach out to contact the families of the victims affected by this case. Anyone who believes they or a family member may have been affected by this case is encouraged to call the Victim and Witness Unit at 717-614-4249 or email usapam-victim.information@usdoj.gov.