Woman demands mother’s remains after father’s donated body was allegedly stolen from Harvard


A woman is demanding the return of her mother’s remains after learning her father’s body was stolen in a suspected grisly theft at the Harvard Medical School morgue.

Accordingly The Boston GlobePaula Peltonovich’s father, Nicholas Pichowicz, died in 2019 and had his body donated to Harvard Medical School. His wife Joan Pichowicz died in March and her remains were also donated to the school.

Harvard Medical School accepts such donations Anatomical gift program. The bodies are used for educational and research purposes – a common practice at medical schools across the country. After the bodies are used, Harvard cremates the remains and either returns them to the families or sends them to a cemetery.

“They planned to do that years ago” Peltonovich said the Globe on Thursday. “You gave something back to science.”

But Peltonovich now believes her father’s corpse has met an even more grisly fate.

Between 2018 and 2022, Cedric Lodge, the former head of Harvard’s morgue, and his wife Denise allegedly stole and dismembered medical school donor cadavers and sold parts of them — including brains, heads and skin — to buyers in Massachusetts and other states.

The body parts weallegedly bought by Katrina Maclean, Joshua Taylor and Mathew Lampi. Maclean allegedly bought body parts from Lodge – including two dissected faces – to resell to buyers at her store in Massachusetts, which mainly sells macabre dolls and other oddities. Allegedly, Maclean also sent skin to suspect Jeremy Pauley to have it tanned into leather. In the United States, it is illegal to buy or sell human organs.

On Wednesday, Cedric and Denise Lodge were present along with Taylor, Lampi, Maclean and Pauley indicted by a federal grand jury on allegations of human trafficking.

After learning of the alleged thief, Peltonovich contacted Harvard on Wednesday and was told that her father’s remains were among the stolen remains. The condition of her mother’s body is unclear. But Peltonovich said she and her family want it back if the facility still has it so she can bury her mother.

“It’s just unthinkable. There are no words,” she told the Globe. “We were just disgusted. Nausea, like we’re going to throw up.”

According to a Justice Department press releaseLampi and Pauley allegedly sold and bought body parts from each other over a long period of time, exchanging over $100,000 worth of online payments in the process. The federal indictment also alleged that Taylor sent 39 PayPal payments for body parts to Lodge between 2018 and 2021, totaling $37,355.56. The payments allegedly included a $1,000 transaction marked “Head number 7” and another marked “Braiiiiiiins.” Vice reported.

“The defendants violated the trust of the deceased and their families in the name of greed,” FBI Agent Jacqueline Maguire said in Wednesday’s press release. “While today’s indictments cannot undo the excruciating pain caused by this heinous crime, the FBI will continue to work tirelessly to ensure justice is served.”

Harvard published one opinion Following the indictment with the subject line “A heinous treason.”

“We are appalled to learn that something so disturbing could be happening on our campus — a community dedicated to healing and serving others,” the statement said. “The reported incidents are a betrayal of HMS and, most importantly, all individuals who have altruistically chosen to donate their bodies to HMS as part of the Anatomical Gift Program to further medical education and research.”

The school sent letters Wednesday to the next of kin of donors known to be affected, promising to review their records and work with US Attorneys to continue identifying the victims.

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