(UnitedVoice.com) – On June 14, the US Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced the indictments of several people accused of a bizarre scheme. One of the suspects was a former Harvard morgue manager.
According to authorities, from 2018 through 2022, 55-year-old Cedric Lodge allegedly stole organs and other body parts from the morgue for Harvard Medical School’s Anatomical Gifts Program. The cadavers had been donated to the school for medical research. Authorities also accused him of transporting body parts from Boston, where the donated morgue was located, to his home in New Hampshire. Police say he took brains, bones, heads, skin, and other body parts.
Once the body parts were at Lodge’s home, he and his wife, 63-year-old Denise Lodge, allegedly sold them to 44-year-old Katrina Maclean, 46-year-old Joshua Taylor, and others. Lodge is also accused of allowing Taylor and Maclean into the Harvard morgue, where they examined the donated bodies and decided what pieces they wanted to buy. Authorities say the couple made the arrangements through social media and on the phone.
Nick Pichowitz, a former New Hamshire deputy sheriff, and his wife, Joan Pichowitz, a former police officer, both donated their bodies to Harvard Medical School. The couple’s daughters, Paula Peltonovich and Darlene Lynch, were recently told their father’s body was among those involved in the crime.
US Attorney Gerard M. Karam said this is one of the crimes that “defy understanding.” He called it “particularly egregious” because many of the victims wanted their remains to be used to “educate medical professionals and advance the interests of science and healing.”
The Harvard Crimson published a joint statement from Dean of Medical Education Edward M. Hundert and Medical School Dean George Q. Daley calling the crimes “an abhorrent betrayal” and “morally reprehensible.”
Anyone who believes their family might have been a victim of the theft should email [email protected] or call (717) 614-4249.
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