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Human remains trafficked by Minnesota man

Human remains trafficked by Minnesota man

A Minnesota man is among six people charged with trafficking stolen human remains intended for medical education from Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary, according to the Department of Justice.

Matthew Lampi, 52, of East Bethel was indicted by a federal grand jury in Pennsylvania for conspiracy and interstate transport of stolen goods. The others indicted include Katrina Maclean, 44, of Salem, Massachusetts, Joshua Taylor, 46, of West Lawn, Pennsylvania, along with Denise Lodge, 63, and Cedric Lodge, 55, of Goffstown, New Hampshire.

According to court records, the six people are accused of being involved in a nationwide network from 2018 to 2022 for buying and selling parts of cadavers that were donated to medical schools before they were scheduled to be cremated. The stolen remains included bones, skulls, skin, internal organs, brains, whole stillborn corpses, and other body parts. 

The charges allege the body parts came from the morgue at Harvard Medical School and a mortuary in Little Rock, Arkansas, which worked with a local medical school. Cedric Lodge, who managed the morgue for the Anatomical Gifts Program at Harvard, allegedly stole the remains and brought them back to his home where his wife, Denise Lodge, would sell Maclean, Taylor and others. 

On some occasions, Cedric Lodge allegedly allowed Maclean and Taylor to go into the Harvard Medical School morgue and “examine cadavers to choose what to purchase,” the DOJ said in a press release. Mclean and Taylor would then resell them, including to Pauley. 

Meanwhile, Candace Scott is accused of stealing cadaver parts from her work at a mortuary in Arkansas. She was supposed to cremate the remains but instead stole body parts on multiple occasions and sold them to Pauley. At one point, she allegedly stole the corpse of a stillborn baby and sold it for $300 to Pauley, who then traded it to Lampi, along with $1,500, in exchange for human skulls, according to court records. 

Lampi and Pauley allegedly bought and sold human remains with each other over an extended period of time and exchanged over $125,000 in online payments. Prosecutors said Pauley sent 16 packages from Pennsylvania to Lampi’s home in East Bethel, Minnesota. 

“Some crimes defy understanding,” said United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam in a statement. “The theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human. It is particularly egregious that so many of the victims here volunteered to allow their remains to be used to educate medical professionals and advance the interests of science and healing. For them and their families to be taken advantage of in the name of profit is appalling.”

Authorities did not say how many corpses may have been affected, but they are working to identify and contact as many of the victim’s families as possible. 

If Lampi and the others are found guilty, they face up to 15 years behind bars. Two other people, including Scott, were previously indicted in Arkansas for the crime. 

Source: FOX 9