Harvard Medical School morgue manager of the Anatomical Gifts Program, along with five others, face federal charges after allegedly stealing and selling human remains from donated cadavers.
Sales of human body parts—including faces, skin, and brains—occurred in various states with deals totaling in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Cedric Lodge, 55, of Goffstown, New Hampshire was indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy and interstate transporting and selling of human remains across numerous states from 2018 to 2022, per a report from ABC news.
Lodge’s wife, Denise Lodge, 63, and three others—Katrina Maclean of Salem, Massachusetts, Joshua Taylor of West Lawn, Pennsylvania, and Jeremy Pauley of Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania—were also indicted as a party of an alleged conspiracy to “profit from the interstate shipment, purchase, and sale of stolen human remains,” the indictment stated. Maclean, Taylor, and Pauley are not affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
Officials from the university said the allegations are an “abhorrent betrayal” and morally reprehensible” in an announcement on Wednesday. It was cited that investigators think Cedric Lodge appeared to have acted “without the knowledge or cooperation of anyone else” at the institution.
As the medical school morgue manager, Lodge had access to donated cadavers, allegedly stealing dissected sections of bodies, including brains, heads, bones, and skin and transporting the body parts to his home in New Hampshire, according to the indictment. In addition, he purportedly extended his morgue access to Maclean and Taylor so they could “choose what remains to purchase,” the indictment stated.
Included in the indictment’s referenced transactions, Cedric Lodge met with Maclean on October 28, 2020, at the morgue, following Maclean’s agreement to buy two “dissected faces” for $600.
Per the allegations, Maclean stored and sold the faces at her Peabody, Massachusetts-based store, Kat’s Creepy Creations. She also shipped to Pauley and other buyers in multiple states, according to the indictment.
In one 2021 transaction, Pauley allegedly received human skin—to be tanned to create leather—from Maclean, providing him payment with other human skin. Maclean got in touch with Pauley to verify the package arrived because she “wanted to make sure it got to you and I don’t expect agents at my door,” according to the indictment.
39 electronic payments to Denise Lodge’s PayPal account were transferred by Taylor between September 2018 and July 2021 which totaled $37,355.56, cited on the money app with the subject line “payment for human remains stolen by Cedric Lodge from Harvard Medical School,” the indictment stated. Another 2019 payment for $1,000 was transferred with the memo “head number 7,” while an additional memo titled “braiiiiiins” was attached to a $200 payment in 2020.
An additional 25 payments totally $40,049.04 were allegedly transferred to Taylor from Pauley via Paypal, but did not specify what they were for.
“Some crimes defy understanding,” U.S. Attorney Gerard Karam said in a statement. “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. 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.”