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Harvard morgue manager charged with theft, sale of body parts | Crime News

A former Harvard Medical School mortuary manager is one of five people indicted by a grand jury for stealing and selling body parts from cadavers donated to the school, federal prosecutors said.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania said in a statement that Cedric Lodge, 55, was fired on May 6. Black market human organ scheme. statement on Wednesday.

Prosecutors said Lodge, who was hired by Harvard in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1995, would sometimes let potential buyers into the school’s morgue to examine the body and choose which parts to buy. The buyers mostly resold the body parts, prosecutors said.

Authorities said Lodge also sometimes took body parts — including heads, brains, skin and bones — back to the home where he lived with his wife Denise, 63, and some of the remains were mailed to buyers.

Remains donated to Harvard Medical School for educational, teaching or research purposes. Once no longer needed, the body is usually cremated and the ashes returned to the donor’s family or buried in a cemetery.

Earlier in Arkansas, a sixth person was charged in the same investigation for allegedly stealing body parts from the morgue where she worked, prosecutors said.

It was unclear whether Lodge, who was arrested by the FBI on Wednesday, or anyone else charged, including Lodge’s wife, had legal representation, ABC News said, citing the FBI.

FILE PHOTO: A panoramic view of Harvard Medical School in Longwood Medical District in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., May 15, 2022. Photos were taken with a drone. Photo taken on May 15, 2022. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo
Harvard Medical School at Longwood Medical District, Boston, MA in 2022 [File: Brian Snyder/Reuters]

The FBI did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The indictment charges Lodges and three others — Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Mass.; Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania; and Ma Lean, 52, of East Bethel, Minnesota. Mathew Lampi, who conspired to transport stolen goods across state lines.

According to prosecutors, the defendants were part of a nationwide trade in remains stolen from schools and Arkansas morgues.

The hotel allegedly sold the remains to McClain, Taylor and others over the phone and on social media sites.

Taylor sometimes shipped the stolen remains back to Pennsylvania, while other times the lodge mailed the remains to him and others, authorities said. McClain and Taylor resold the stolen remains for profit, authorities said.

Denise Lodge made her first appearance in federal court in Concord, New Hampshire, on Wednesday and was released on personal bond, WMUR-TV reported. She declined to comment as she left court.

Cedric Lodge was due to make his first court appearance later on Wednesday.

Two others have previously been charged in the case.

“Some of the crimes are beyond comprehension,” U.S. Attorney Gerald Karam said in a statement.

“The theft and trafficking of human remains touches the very essence of who we are,” Karam said.

People whose body parts were sold voluntarily used their remains to educate medical professionals, he said, adding that Harvard Medical School cooperated with the investigation.

“We are appalled to learn that something as disturbing as this could have happened on our campus,” George Daley, dean of Harvard Medical School, said in a statement to the school community on Wednesday.

Daly said Harvard Medical School, which first learned of the allegations in March, is searching its records, particularly logs showing when donor remains were cremated and when Lodge was on campus, to try to identify which donor body parts May have been trafficked.

Harvard University’s office of media relations said it could not provide more information, citing the criminal investigation.

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