Harvard morgue manager accused of selling stolen human body parts on Facebook

Francis Akhalbey June 20, 2023
Cedric Lodge allegedly sold stolen human body parts on Facebook. --- Image via Twitter.

A 55-year-old man who worked at Harvard Medical School’s morgue for nearly 30 years allegedly stole human body parts from the facility and sold them on Facebook, Newsweek reported. In a statement, the Department of Justice said Cedric Lodge, as well as his wife, Katrina MacLean, and four other suspects, have since been charged with trafficking in stolen human remains.

The suspects allegedly sold the stolen human body parts, including skulls, hearts, genitals, skin, and fetal remains, in an “oddities” Facebook group, per MailOnline.

The DOJ also said that human body parts that were stolen from Harvard Medical School, as well as an Arkansas mortuary, had been sold and bought by suspects who were part of a nationwide network that was dealing in the illegal trade. Those suspects are now facing charges.

“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,” the DOJ said in the statement.

“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.”

Lodge was allegedly involved in the illegal business between 2018 and 2022. The organs he is accused of stealing were from donated bodies that had been arranged for cremation, Newsweek reported.

The suspect also allegedly took the human remains he intended to sell to his New Hampshire home. Reports revealed that Lodge, on one occasion, even arranged for potential buyers to come to the morgue to choose the human remains they intended to buy.

“Some crimes defy understanding. The theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human,” U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam said. 

“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,” he added. “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.”

The U.S. Attorney‘s Office also said that it is working on identifying and getting in touch with the victims’ families – though the number of bodies that were illegally accessed is still unclear. “We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus,” George Q. Daley, who is the dean of the faculty of Medicine at Harvard University, said in a June 14 statement. 

“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.

“We are so very sorry for the pain this news will cause for our anatomical donors’ families and loved ones, and HMS pledges to engage with them during this deeply distressing time.”

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: June 20, 2023


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