The supervisor of a morgue at Harvard Medical Faculty has been charged with promoting physique elements from donated cadavers and permitting patrons to come back to the morgue to decide on which elements they needed, federal prosecutors mentioned on Wednesday.
Prosecutors mentioned that the supervisor, Cedric Lodge, 55, and his spouse, Denise Lodge, 63, each of Goffstown, N.H., and three others had been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania on costs of conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen items.
A sixth individual, Jeremy Pauley, 41, of Bloomsburg, Pa., was charged individually, prosecutors mentioned. A seventh, Candace Chapman Scott, of Little Rock, Ark., was beforehand indicted in Arkansas, prosecutors mentioned.
The defendants have been all a part of a nationwide community that purchased and offered human stays stolen from Harvard Medical Faculty and a mortuary in Little Rock the place Ms. Scott labored, prosecutors mentioned.
In a statement to the Harvard Medical Faculty group on Wednesday, George Q. Daley, dean of the school of medication, and Edward M. Hundert, dean for medical training, referred to as the allegations “an abhorrent betrayal.”
In accordance with federal prosecutors, from 2018 to 2022, Mr. Lodge stole elements from cadavers that had been donated to the medical faculty and dissected — together with heads, brains, pores and skin and bones — earlier than their scheduled cremations.
The Lodges then shipped stays to others, together with Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Mass., who owns a retailer referred to as Kat’s Creepy Creations in Peabody, Mass., and Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Garden, Pa., prosecutors mentioned.
At occasions, Mr. Lodge allowed Ms. Maclean, Mr. Taylor and others into the morgue to decide on which elements they needed, prosecutors mentioned. In October 2020, prosecutors mentioned, Ms. Maclean agreed to purchase two dissected faces from Mr. Lodge for $600.
Prosecutors mentioned that Ms. Maclean saved and offered stays at Kat’s Creepy Creations, which advertises “creepy dolls, oddities” and “bone artwork” on Instagram.
In June or July of 2021, she shipped human pores and skin to Mr. Pauley and “engaged his providers to tan the pores and skin to create leather-based,” an indictment states.
From September 2018 to July 2021, Mr. Taylor transferred greater than $37,000 in digital funds to Ms. Lodge for physique elements that had been stolen by Mr. Lodge, prosecutors mentioned.
In a single transaction, Mr. Taylor despatched Ms. Lodge $1,000 with a memo that learn “head quantity 7,” prosecutors mentioned. As a part of one other cost, he despatched Ms. Lodge $200 with a memo that learn, “braiiiiiins,” prosecutors mentioned.
Prosecutors mentioned that Mr. Pauley purchased stays from Ms. Scott, who stole physique elements from the mortuary and crematory in Little Rock the place she labored.
Among the many stays that Ms. Scott stole have been the corpses of two stillborn infants that have been imagined to have been cremated and returned to their households, prosecutors mentioned. Ms. Scott was beforehand indicted in Arkansas on costs together with mail fraud, wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property, prosecutors mentioned.
Mr. Pauley offered lots of the stays he purchased to others, together with Mathew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel, Minn., prosecutors mentioned.
“Some crimes defy understanding,” Gerard M. Karam, the U.S. legal professional for the Center District of Pennsylvania, mentioned in a statement. “The theft and trafficking of human stays strikes on the very essence of what makes us human.”
Christopher R. Opiel, a lawyer for Mr. Taylor, declined to touch upon the costs. Mr. Lampi additionally declined to remark. George B. Morledge IV, a lawyer for Ms. Scott, mentioned that his shopper had pleaded not responsible and was in jail, awaiting a psychological well being analysis.
“Earlier than we begin leaping to conclusions about what was happening with Ms. Scott,” Mr. Morledge mentioned, “we have to let this play out within the court docket system.”
It was not instantly clear if the Lodges, Ms. Maclean and Mr. Pauley had legal professionals.
The Lodges each made preliminary court docket appearances on Wednesday in Harmony, N.H., and have been launched on their very own private recognizance, The Associated Press reported. They declined to remark as they left the courthouse, The A.P. reported.
Of their assertion to the Harvard Medical Faculty group, the 2 deans mentioned that investigators believed that Mr. Lodge acted with out the information or cooperation of anybody else on the college. Mr. Lodge, who was employed in 1995, was fired on Might 6, Harvard Medical Faculty mentioned.
As an worker of the Anatomical Present Program, he didn’t handle different individuals, however was answerable for making ready for and accepting donors’ our bodies, coordinating embalming, overseeing the storage and motion of cadavers, and making ready stays to be transported to a crematory, the medical faculty mentioned.
Of their e-mail, the deans mentioned that the varsity had been working to establish which donated cadavers could have been affected by theft.
“We’re appalled to study that one thing so disturbing might occur on our campus — a group devoted to therapeutic and serving others,” they wrote. “The reported incidents are a betrayal of H.M.S. and, most significantly, every of the people who altruistically selected to will their our bodies to H.M.S. by the Anatomical Present Program to advance medical training and analysis.”