Several people, including a former morgue employee at Harvard Medical School, are facing federal charges for allegedly taking part in the sale and transportation of stolen body parts, according to officials.

An indictment filed in the United States District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania described how at least four individuals were charged with trafficking body parts stolen from cadavers donated to HMS.

The court paperwork identified Cedric Lodge, 55, as the manager of the medical school’s morgue and detailed how, between 2018 and 2022, he and three other defendants, including his wife, Denise Lodge, 63, worked to move, sell or purchase organs, skin and other parts from bodies that were donated for educational purposes.

The other two defendants named were Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Mass., and Joshua Taylor, 46, a resident of West Lawn, Penn.

“CEDRIC LODGE was employed as Morgue Manager at Harvard Medical School and, as such, had access to the morgue and the donated cadavers stored in the morgue,” the indictment stated. “At times, CEDRIC LODGE stole dissected portions of donated cadavers… without the knowledge or permission of HMS, and removed those remains from the morgue in Massachusetts.”

According to court documents, the parts included “heads, brains, skin, bones, and other human remains” that had been scheduled for cremation but taken by Lodge to his house in Goffstown, New Hampshire, which was later searched by federal investigators in March 2023.

Investigators said that in some cases, he sold stolen body parts to buyers in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, including Maclean who “agreed to purchase two dissected faces for $600.”

Prosecutors said the Lodges allegedly used social media and their phones to sell the parts, sometimes using a mail service to send out the human remains.

The Lodges and Maclean had no comment following their respective federal court appearances on Wednesday.

“She’s never been in trouble before and obviously this is very distressful,” Maclean’s attorney said. “She just wants to be home with her family.”

All three suspects were released on personal recognizance and will make a future appearance at federal court in Pennsylvania as proceedings continue.

‘Some crimes defy understanding’: U.S. Attorney details apparent human remains trafficking network

In a news release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, authorities said the defendants, along with two other individuals, were charged for trafficking in stolen human remains and had been indicted on conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods charges.

The office of United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam stated that the indictments and other information “allege that a nationwide network of individuals bought and sold human remains stolen from Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary.”

In the release, authorities also identified Candace Chapman Scott, of Little Rock, Arkansas, who had previously been indicted in the Eastern District of Arkansas, and Mathew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel, Minnesota.

The release detailed how the Lodges sold remains to Maclean and Taylor, including how Cedric let the two onto Harvard University property.

“At times, Cedric Lodge allowed Maclean and Taylor to enter the morgue at Harvard Medical School and examine cadavers to choose what to purchase,” the release stated. “On some occasions, Taylor transported stolen remains back to Pennsylvania. On other occasions, the Lodges shipped stolen remains to Taylor and others out of state.”

In the case of Scott, the defendant was alleged to have stolen remains from her employer, a mortuary and crematorium in Little Rock, including the corpses of two stillborn infants that were to be cremated and returned to their families.

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

Authorities describe ‘Collector of Oddities,’ other suspects accused of buying body parts

While the Lodge home in New Hampshire was searched back in March, FBI agents also descended upon Maclean’s home in Salem that same month, as well as her business “Kat’s Creepy Creations” in Peabody.

An Instagram page believed to be the businesses’ at the time described it is a place full of “creepy dolls, oddities and bone art.” According to the indictment, the business was where Maclean stored and sold the stolen body parts.

Maclean showcased human skulls and vertebrae on her social media pages. She said in captions that the bones pictured were real human bones, although it is unclear if any were from the Harvard morgue.

One commenter on one post asked “My question is where do you get a human skull?”

“Discarded specimen from a medical school,” Maclean responded.

A tenant at the building where Maclean’s business had been located told 7NEWS Maclean moved out on Monday. The signs for “Kats Creepy Creations” were already gone by Wednesday.

Court paperwork, meanwhile, also alleged that Maclean shipped human skin to another person, later identified as 41-year-old Jeremy Pauley of Bloomsburg, Penn., to “tan the skin to create leather.”

A number of the stolen body parts were ultimately shipped to Pennsylvania, where the case was developing back in the summer of 2022.

At the time, Pauley was charged for trying to purchase stolen human remains from Scott in Arkansas through Facebook.

Officials said Pauley described himself as a “Collector of Oddities” and that, after tanning the skin he received from Maclean, he would then trade that leather with Maclean as a form of payment. Officials said he also sold many of the remains to Lampi and other individuals.

“Lampi and Pauley bought and sold from each other over an extended period of time and exchanged over $100,000 in online payments,” the U.S. Attorney’s office stated in its release.

The release also stated that Pauley purchased human remains stolen from Harvard Medical School through Joshua Taylor.

Harvard University responds, provides resources for families of affected donors

In a statement entitled “An abhorrent betrayal,” Harvard University’s Dean of the Faculty of Medicine George Q. Daley addressed how a “former Harvard Medical School employee” was accused of activities that were “morally reprehensible.”

Daley said Cedric Lodge was terminated on May 6, 2023, after having worked as part of the Anatomical Gift Program at HMS. The dean also detailed how the university had been working to determine which donors had been impacted.

“We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus — a community dedicated to healing and serving others,” the dean stated. “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.”

According to the statement, the U.S. Attorney’s Office has been working to identify the affected donations and reach out to the families of donors. Those who believe they or a family member have been affected are asked to contact or 717-614-4249.

Additional resources for donor families can be found here.

(Copyright (c) 2024 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox