A former Harvard Medical School morgue manager, his wife, and four others have been charged with stealing and selling human body parts.
Cedric Lodge, 55, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, stole portions of donated dissected cadavers to Harvard Medical School between 2018-2023.
Lodge would sometimes take the body parts, which included heads, brains, skin, and bones, back to his home where he and his wife, Denise, 63, lived. Some of the remains were allegedly sent to buyers by post.
Lodge is also accused of allowing customers to visit the morgue to pick what remains they wanted to purchase.
Bodies donated to Harvard Medical School become used for educational, teaching, or research purposes. Once they are not needed, the cadavers are cremated, and the ashes are returned to the donor’s family or burned in a cemetery.
In a message on the school’s website entitled, “An abhorrent betrayal,” deans George Daley and Edward Hundert called the situation “morally reprehensible,” adding that Lodge was fired on May 6, 2023.
“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,” the deans added.
The Lodges and four others were charged with conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods: Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Massachusetts; Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania; Matthew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel, Minnesota; and Jeremy Pauley, 41, of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania.
According to prosecutors, the defendants were associated with a nationwide network of people who buy and sell remains stolen from Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary.
The Lodges allegedly planned to sell the remains to Maclean, Taylor, and others through telephone calls and social media. Maclean and Taylor then allegedly resold the stolen remains to make money.
On June 14, 2023, Denise and Cedric Lodge appeared in a New Hampshire court and were each released on bail.
Pauley allegedly purchases some remains from Candance Chapman Scott, of Little Rock, Arkansas, who reportedly stole them from a mortuary she worked at.
Officials said Scott stole body parts from cadavers she was supposed to cremate, noting that many of the bodies were donated to and used for research and educational purposes by an Arkansas medical school.
Pauley allegedly sold many stolen remains to other individuals, including Lampi. Pauley and Lampi bought and sold from each other, exchanging over $100,000 in online payments.
"Cedric Lodge, 55, who is the morgue manager at Harvard Medical School, appears outside of federal court in Concord, N.H., on June 14, 2023." pic.twitter.com/MIV0JH1J7B
— Jon Nicosia (@NewsPolitics) June 14, 2023
Scott and Pauley pleaded not guilty.