US government indicts four people involved in racket selling body parts donated to Harvard Medical School

The United States government has brought federal charges against the manager of the morgue at Harvard Medical School (HMS) and three other people for allegedly selling human body parts stolen from the school and a morgue in Arkansas.

Cedric Lodge, 55, formerly manager of the morgue for the Anatomical Gifts Program at Harvard Medical School in Boston
Cedric Lodge (left), former manager of the morgue for the Anatomical Gifts Program at Harvard Medical School in Boston, is one of four people indicted by federal authorities. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@MrsBarnesII

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

“Some crimes defy understanding,” said Karam. “With these charges, we are seeking to secure some measure of justice for all these victims.” 

Cedric Lodge, 55, formerly manager of the morgue for the Anatomical Gifts Program at Harvard Medical School in Boston, is alleged to have stolen organs and other parts of cadavers between 2018 and 2022, and with his wife, Denise Lodge, 63, to have sold the remains online.

Lodge, the government contends, stole “heads, brains, skin, bones and other human remains … and removed those remains from the morgue in Massachusetts and transported them to his residence in New Hampshire”.

The defendants reportedly coordinated by cellphone and social media, and sometimes even “shipped remains through the United States Postal Service”.

Lodge is alleged to have allowed two others named in the indictment, Katrina Maclean, 44, owner of Kat’s Creepy Creations, a store in Peabody, Massachusetts, and Joshua Taylor, 46, to enter the morgue and choose what to take.

Harvard medical school deans George Daley and Edward Hundert called the alleged actions “morally reprehensible”.

United States Attorney Gerard M Karam
United States Attorney Gerard M Karam. Photo courtesy: WIkimedia

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

Harvard said that after the indictment was unsealed and it became fully aware of the circumstances of the case, HMS immediately communicated with donor families and set up a webpage for them.

“The US Attorney’s Office has and will continue to attempt to identify victims and contact as many of the victims’ families affected by this case as possible,” they added.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 15 years of imprisonment.

CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

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