Ex-Harvard Morgue Manager’s Wife Pleads Guilty in Body Parts Trafficking Scheme

Denise Lodge Admits Role in Shipping Stolen Remains

Boston, Massachusetts – The wife of a former Harvard Medical School morgue manager has admitted her guilt in a federal case involving the illegal trafficking of human body parts. This development comes after a year of investigation that exposed a disturbing network.

Stolen Remains Shipped Across State Lines

Denise Lodge, 64, of Goffstown, New Hampshire, entered a guilty plea on Friday in the Middle District of Pennsylvania federal court. The charge against Lodge stems from accusations that she knowingly participated in the interstate transportation of stolen goods, specifically human body parts. Court documents detail these parts as including hands, feet, and heads.

Unveiling a Nationwide Network

Federal prosecutors brought charges against Lodge, her husband Cedric Lodge, and five others in late 2023. The investigation revealed an extensive nationwide network allegedly involved in the purchase and sale of human remains illegally obtained from Harvard Medical School and a separate mortuary located in Arkansas.

Breach of Trust: Stolen Cadaver Parts

Authorities allege that dissected portions of cadavers, originally donated to Harvard for educational purposes, were systematically stolen between 2018 and early 2023. This operation occurred entirely without the knowledge or consent of the medical school.

Cooperation Leads to Sentencing

One individual, Jeremy Pauley of Thompson, Pennsylvania, has already pleaded guilty to conspiracy and interstate transportation of stolen property. Pauley awaits sentencing after cooperating with investigators.

Defense Downplays Charges

Denise Lodge’s attorney, Hope Lefeber, attempted to minimize her client’s involvement. In a February interview with WBUR, Lefeber stated that Denise “just kind of went along with it” while acknowledging her husband’s central role in the scheme. Lefeber further argued that the case presented a “moral and ethical dilemma” rather than a purely criminal offense, suggesting no financial gain was involved.