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Former Harvard morgue manager faces federal charges for allegedly selling donated human body parts

Cedric Lodge, 55 years old, a former morgue Manager at Harvard Medical School in Boston, along with others, are facing legal charges for stealing and selling dissected portions of donated cadavers, including skin, heads, bones, and other human remains without the approval of the school.

The federal indictment that was filed in the US District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania stated that Lodge stole body parts from the morgue located in Massachusetts and took them to his home in New Hampshire. The former morgue manager allegedly teamed up with his wife Denise, 63 years old. The stolen cadavers were sold to other people, including Joshua Taylor, 46, and Katrina Maclean, 44, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania, and MacLean, Salem, respectively. The alleged buyers are also facing legal charges.

On Wednesday, June 14, Lodge and his wife went to federal court in Concord. According to federal investigators, the horrible scheme is part of a larger black market that is believed to run for five years from 2018 to 2022. After the horrendous case emerged, family members and relatives who donated the bodies of their deceased loved ones expressed their dismay — saying that they felt “sick” upon hearing the news.

Denise Lodge on her way to the federal courthouse
Denise Lodge on her way to the federal courthouse on June 14 | via ABC News

The Harvard Medical School also released a statement about the allegations. Dean of the Faculty of Medicine George Daley and Dean for Medical Education Edward Hundert called the incident “morally reprehensible”.

“We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could happen on our campus — a community dedicated to healing and serving others. The reported incidents are a betrayal of HMS and, most importantly, each of the individuals who altruistically chose to will their bodies to HMS through the Anatomical Gift Program to advance medical education and research,” they said.

“We are so very sorry for the pain this news will cause for our anatomical donors’ families and loved ones, and HMS pledges to engage with them during this deeply distressing time,” they added.

Currently, the medical school is collaborating with authorities to examine records of donated bodies while the US legal office will continue the process of knowing the identities of the victims and contact their families afterwards.



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