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Body Parts Theft at Harvard Medical School Morgue leads to Indictments

By: David Wang

In Scranton, Pennsylvania, authorities have discovered a connection between a former manager for Harvard Medical School, his wife, and 3 others, and the theft and sale of human body parts from the school. All 5 individuals involved have been indicted on criminal charges. 55-year-old Cedric Lodge from Goffstown, New Hampshire, stole portions of dissected cadavers donated to HMS from 2018 to early 2023. The school did not give permission and had no knowledge of these incidents.

Authorities found that Lodge sometimes took the bodies back to his home where he and his 63-year-old wife Denise lived so they could fill orders from around the country. Parts sold included brains, skin, heads and bones and the couple reportedly mailed the body parts to customers.. Allegedly, Lodge allowed buyers to come to the morgue and pick out the parts they wanted.

The cadavers donated to Harvard Medical School are intended for the purposes of education and research, and once they are not needed anymore, they are supposed to be cremated and returned to families or buried in cemeteries.

The school’s website released a post titled “An abhorrent betrayal” in which deans Edward Hundert and George Daley called the incident “morally reprehensible,” and stated that Lodge had been fired on May 6. The post also included quotes expressing their disappointment: “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.”

Lodge’s 3 other accomplices apart from his wife is Joshua Taylor, aged 46 from West Lawn, Mathew Lampi, aged 52 from West Bethel, and Katrina Maclean, aged 44 from Salem Mass. Other than Lodge’s wife Denise, the rest are being charged with the crimes of conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods. Up until last Wednesday, it was unknown whether any of the defendants had lawyers. Denise Lodge’s charge is unknown as of now.

Prosecutors alleged that the defendants were part of a nationwide network that bought and stole remains from HMS and a mortuary from Arkansas. Both the Lodges had allegedly sold remains to Maclean and Taylor, amongst unidentified others through phone calls and social media.

Taylor sometimes transported remains back to Pennsylvania while the Lodges would mail him remains at other times. Maclean and Taylor resold the remains for profit, according to authorities. Denise Lodge’s initial court appearance was on Wednesday in a Concord federal court in Pennsylvania. She declined to comment as she left, reported WMUR-TV. Her husband Cedric Lodge was scheduled to make his initial court appearance later that Wednesday.

Previously, 2 others have been charged in this case. Candace Chapman Scott from Little Rock, Arkansas, allegedly sold remains stolen from a mortuary she worked at, to Jeremy Pauley, aged 41 from Bloomsberg, Pa. Scott had gotten the remains from bodies she was supposed to cremate, with many having been donated for research and education purposes to a medical school in Arkansas.

Authorities have said that Pauley sold the remains to a number of people including Lampi. The two bought and sold from each other over an extended period of time, exchanging at least $100,000 dollars via online payments. Both Pauley and Scott have pleaded not guilty in response to the case charges.

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