Morgue manager charged with theft after allegedly selling human body parts

Five individuals, including a manager from the morgue at Harvard Medical School and his wife, are facing charges related to the alleged theft and sale of human body parts, according to an announcement from federal prosecutors in Pennsylvania.

Cedric Lodge, 55, from Goffstown, New Hampshire, is said to have illicitly taken dissected sections of bodies that were donated to the school between 2018 and early 2023. Without the school’s consent or knowledge, Lodge reportedly took body parts like heads, brains, skin, and bones to his home shared with his wife, Denise, 63.

Some of the stolen remains were reportedly mailed to buyers, while others were personally selected and taken by purchasers directly from the morgue.

Cadavers given to Harvard Medical School are typically used for educational, teaching, or research purposes. Once their use is over, they are usually cremated, and the ashes are either returned to the donor’s family or laid to rest in a cemetery.

The indictment has ensnared the Lodge couple and three other individuals—Katrina Maclean, 44, from Salem, Massachusetts; Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania; and Mathew Lampi, 52, from East Bethel, Minnesota. All five are charged with conspiracy and the interstate transport of stolen goods. Legal representation for the defendants remains unclear.

Prosecutors assert that the accused were part of a widespread network that dealt in stolen remains from both the school and an Arkansas mortuary. According to the authorities, the Lodges would sell the stolen remains to Maclean, Taylor, and others via phone calls and social media sites.

Taylor, at times, would take the pilfered remains back to Pennsylvania, while in other instances, the Lodges would mail remains to him and others. Maclean and Taylor would then reportedly sell these remains for a profit.

Previously, two other individuals were charged in this case. Jeremy Pauley, 41, from Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, is said to have bought stolen remains from Candace Chapman Scott, who allegedly stole them from an Arkansas mortuary where she worked. Many of the cadavers from which Scott reportedly stole had been used for research and educational purposes by a medical school in Arkansas.

Authorities report that Pauley resold many of the stolen remains, exchanging more than $100,000 in online payments with others, including Lampi. Both Scott and Pauley have pleaded not guilty.