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Body parts being stolen and sold have led Harvard Medical school to indictments

By: Valentina Guo

Federal prosecutors announced Wednesday that people have been indicted in connection with the theft and sale of human body parts from the Harvard Medical school morgue. These people include a former manager at the morgue, his wife and three others.

According to court documents, former manager of the Harvard Medical School morgue Cedric Lodge stole parts of corpses from 2018 to early 2023. This action was claimed to be unknown by the school, and was done without permission as the school was cooperating with the investigation.

Lodge occasionally took the body parts he stole home, where he lived with his wife Denise. These body parts included skin, brains, and bones. Authorities said part of the remains were sent to people who bought them, through mail.

An article from The Los Angeles Times also said that “Lodge allegedly allowed buyers to come to the morgue to pick what remains they wanted to buy.”

Harvard Medical School has bodies for educational purposes only. Once they have no more use for the cadavers, they are usually buried in a cemetery or returned back to the donor’s family after it has been cremated into ashes.

On May 6th, Lodge was fired by deans George Daley and Edward Hundert.

“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. “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.”, written by The Los Angeles Times.

The indictment charges the Lodges and three others — Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Mass.; Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, Pa.; and Mathew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel, Minn. — with conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods, as also statedby The Los Angeles Times.

Nobody knew whether any of the defendants had a lawyer on their behalf on Wednesday.

According to the prosecutors, the defendants were part of an international group of people who buy and sell body parts that were stolen from an Arkansas mortuary and the school. The Lodges, part of the defendants, have sold remains to Maclean, Taylor and others. This was done by communication through social media websites and phone calls.

As The Los Angeles Times reports, Taylor sometimes transports stolen remains back to Pennsylvania, while other times the Lodges would mail remains to him and others. Maclean and Taylor resold the stolen remains for profit, authorities said.

On Wednesday in federal court in Concord, N.H., Denis Lodge was released on personal recognized bail, as said by WMUR-TV.

Another initial court appearance would happen later Wednesday, by Cedric Lodge.

Previously in the case, two others were charged.

In an article, The Los Angeles Times wrote that “Jeremy Pauley, 41, of Bloomsburg, Pa., allegedly bought some remains from Candace Chapman Scott, of Little Rock, Ark., who allegedly stole them from a mortuary where she worked. Authorities have said Scott stole body parts from cadavers she was supposed to have cremated, noting many of the bodies had been donated to and used for research and educational purposes by a medical school in Arkansas.”

Pauley has sold many of the remains to many others including Lampi. These two bought and sold from and to each other for a long duration of time. The authorities said that over $100,000 has been exchanged between the two.

Scott and Pauley have both pleaded not guilty.

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