June 15, 2023

USA: Harvard Medical School Morgue Manager And His Wife Accused Of Selling Stolen Body Parts For 4 Years Across 5 States. 7 People Charged In Total.


WMUR-TV published June 14, 2023: 7 people charged for alleged involvement in trade, sale of stolen body parts. Jeremy Pauley, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, was in business with multiple suppliers of stolen body parts across the county, according to court documents.
CBS Boston published June 14, 2023: Peabody "creepy dolls" store owner accused of selling stolen body parts. Katrina MacLean appeared at the Federal court and was charged with transporting stolen goods. WBZ TV's Tiffany Chan reports.
CBS Boston published June 14, 2023: Harvard Medical School morgue manager accused of selling stolen body parts. WBZ TV's Beth Germano reports.
WMUR-TV published June 14, 2023: Couple from Goffstown accused of selling human remains from Harvard Medical School. Cedric Lodge was the morgue manager for Harvard Medical School but was fired last month. A federal indictment accused him of stealing human remains from the school and selling them to people in multiple states from 2018 through 2023.

WMUR9 ABC News, Manchester, NH local
written by Tim Callery and Amy Coveno
Thursday June 15, 2023

A Goffstown, New Hampshire, couple has been indicted by a Pennsylvania grand jury for allegedly selling stolen body parts.

Cedric Lodge was the morgue manager for Harvard Medical School but was fired last month. A federal indictment accused him of stealing human remains from the school and selling them to people in multiple states from 2018 through 2023.

The indictment accuses Cedric Lodge of stealing dissected portions of donated cadavers, including heads, brains, skin and bones, from Harvard Medical School.

In a statement, the school's dean, George Daley, called the case "an abhorrent betrayal."

According to the indictment, Cedric Lodge took the remains to his home, where he and his wife, Denise Lodge, sold them and sometimes shipped them through USPS to people in other states.

There was no comment from Cedric or Denise Lodge as they left federal court in Concord on Wednesday afternoon. They were both released on personal recognizance bail.

Cedric Lodge was hired in February 1995, according to Harvard Medical School. He took two leaves of employment within the last few years.

Harvard Medical School said Cedric Lodge was responsible for preparing and intaking anatomical donors' bodies, coordinating embalming, and overseeing the storage and movement of cadavers. He did not manage any employees and did not interact with donor families.

Four others are also facing charges connected to the case, including Katrina Maclean, who owns and operates Kat's Creepy Creations in Peabody, Massachusetts. Prosecutors said she bought two faces for $600.

The Lodges will have to appear in Pennsylvania to answer to the charges.

Harvard Medical School said it was trying to determine which donor cadavers might have been affected.

One New Hampshire family said they have been told one of their relatives was affected. Nick and Joan Pichowicz were married for 66 years, and both donated their bodies to Harvard Medical School. Their daughters live in Plaistow and Newton, and said they're learning horrible news about their father's remains.

"Who would do something like that? What kind of person? No respect at all for the family," said Paula Peltonovich, the victim's daughter. "They need to pay."

The sisters said their mother's body is still at the medical school, and say now, they just want her remains back home.

The ongoing investigation is stretching across five states. Prosecutors said some of the sales were made as far away as Minnesota and Arkansas.

Investigators said some parts were sold to Jeremy Pauley of Pennsylvania. He was arrested last year after police received a report of body parts being kept in buckets in his basement.

According to police records, Pauley allegedly admitted to buying two shipments of human remains.

Investigators said some purchases came from Candace Chapman Scott, a mortuary and crematorium worker in Arkansas. She is accused of selling parts taken from cadavers, along with the corpses of two stillborn babies who were supposed to be cremated and returned to their families.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said it is working to identify victims and contact their families. If you think your family or someone you know has been affected by the case, you can call 717-614-4249.

Charges met with outrage

The announcement of the charges was met with outrage in the medical and education communities in New Hampshire.

For 20 years, Dr. Thomas Andrew served as the chief medical examiner in New Hampshire.

"This behavior is beyond the pale," Thomas said. "My sense of outrage as a forensic pathologist."

He said that assuring family members that their loved ones were treated with respect and dignity was a significant part of the job.

"We tried to deal respectfully with the remains of deceased individuals, treat them with the same dignity they would have had when they were living," he said.

Court documents allege that dignity was absent at the Harvard Medical School morgue when Cedric Lodge allegedly stole and sold body parts, shipping them out of state.

"This kind of behavior is an exceedingly, almost vanishingly rare aspect of tissue and organ donation and particularly of bodies," Thomas said.

The Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine uses about three dozen bodies a year from its anatomical donation program.

"With our donors, our students are learning human anatomy from humans," said James Reed, of the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine. "But they also get an ethical lesson with how they should treat somebody who may not able to respond to them."

Students learn the first name of their donor body and can even meet the family of the person.

"We really see it as our opportunity to, as a community with one voice, say thank you to the families of the donors," Reed said.

Dartmouth has a robust anatomical donor program, with more than 1,600 living people on the list.

Reed said that when they ask why prospective donors say they want to donate, they often say they want to give back in a meaningful way.

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