Louisville, Kentucky –
Federal investigators uncovered an remains trade linked to Harvard Medical School and arrested people in multiple states.
Prosecutors said the defendants were part of a nationwide network that sold remains stolen from medical schools and Arkansas mortuaries.
One of those indicted, Cedric Lodge, 55, of New Hampshire, is suspected of collecting autopsy parts of corpses provided to Harvard University in a program that began in 2018, prosecutors said.
Another person facing criminal charges, Katrina McLean of Salem, Massachusetts, described the store’s social media pages as “heartbreaking pieces” and “creepy dolls, bizarre objects and bone art.” was running a store that sold
Who is being sued?
The indictment charges Lodge. his wife, Denise; McLean. Joshua Taylor, lives in West Lawn, Pennsylvania. Matthew Lampi, East Bethel, Minnesota, Collusion and Interstate Transportation of Stolen Goods.
Authorities first became involved in the national network after the July 2022 arrest of Jeremy Lee Polley in Pennsylvania, who was charged with corpse abuse, receiving stolen property, and other state charges.
Police say Pauly is suspected of trying to purchase the stolen body of an Arkansas woman with the intention of reselling it on Facebook.
Last week, an FBI affidavit in the Kentucky case said Pauley allegedly purchased a heart, brain, lungs and two fetal specimens from a woman in Arkansas and removed them from the morgue.
What happened in Kentucky?
Last week, federal officials indicted a Kentucky man for communicating with Pauley on Facebook about selling skulls and spines.
Investigators said in an affidavit that James Knott found “40 human skulls, spinal cords, femurs and hipbones” during a raid on Tuesday at his Mount Washington, Kentucky apartment. said to have had to.
They found one skull wrapped in a headscarf and another on the bed Knott had slept in, along with a Harvard medical school bag.
During the search, FBI agents asked Knott if anyone else was inside the mansion. He replied, “Only dead friends.” Knott also kept several guns and ammunition in an apartment about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Louisville.
Knott was indicted by federal agents for illegal possession of a firearm.
Human Remains Law
Wake Forest University law professor Tanya D. Marsh, who has written a book on cemeteries and cemeteries, said there is no federal criminal law against the mishandling or sale of corpses, and the sale of corpses is not illegal in most states. Stated. Human remains law.
Marsh said there is a broad market for corpses and “it’s not expressly legal, but it’s not expressly illegal in many states.” She calls it the “gray market.”
Many states have laws against grave robbery, but “the vast majority of states don’t have laws regarding unburied human remains,” Marsh said.
Medical schools such as Harvard receive donations of remains after a person chooses to donate their remains upon death. Some schools may offer to return cremated remains to families or to bury them in a cemetery after the bodies are used for research or teaching, Marsh said.
Lodge, who was charged with the scheme, was the former manager of the morgue at Harvard Medical School. Federal prosecutors said he removed body parts from Harvard’s morgue without the university’s knowledge or permission.
Pauly’s body parts were originally donated to the University of Arkansas for medical research. Authorities say the body was stolen from the mortuary where it was supposed to be eventually cremated.