A Pennsylvania man was arrested after allegedly purchasing human remains that were stolen with possible intentions to resell them online. According to the East Pennsboro Township Police Department, 40-year-old Jeremy Pauley was arrested Thursday and is charged with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property, and dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities.
The police received a complaint on June 14 about possible human body parts being sold online. They later discovered Pauley had been purchasing human remains from a woman in Arkansas on Facebook. Pauley, who described himself as a collector of “oddities”, told police he had acquired the remains legally. Following the initial investigation, officials found what they described as older human remains that they determined he had legally obtained.
However, police returned to the home later in July after receiving a second tip. They were called to Pauley’s former home on North Enola Drive by a caller who reported finding possible human remains inside several buckets in the basement. This time, officials found more human remains, including five-gallon buckets of assorted body parts. Pauley told investigators he intended to resell the body parts.
After police conducted a search warrant and seized the buckets, a forensic pathologist confirmed the remains were human body parts. According to a criminal report, those parts included brains, a heart, kidney, spleen, livers, lungs, and skin. The police also added that the corpses were located in Enola, Arkansas, and Scranton, Pennsylvania.
In addition, they obtained messages that showed Pauley had tried to purchase additional remains from a woman in Arkansas. Those items were to be shipped through the Postal Service to Pennsylvania. The packages were later intercepted in Scranton and were found to contain human remains.
According to the Associated Press, the remains were properties of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. However, a female employee stole them from Arkansas Central Mortuary Services in Little Rock before they arrived. A spokeswoman for UAMS said a federal investigation had been opened into the incident.
The University said, “An employee of the mortuary service is under investigation by federal authorities for taking some human remains from the mortuary that were donated to UAMS. We are saddened and appalled that this happened.”
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Jeremy Pauley was confirmed to have three full skeletons, approximately 15-20 human skulls, and buckets containing 15 gallons of human remains and organs such as livers, brains, kidneys, etc. All bought via Facebook. https://t.co/xBZPlscwgu
— News 4 San Antonio (@News4SA) August 19, 2022
Sean McCormack, district attorney for Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, “I think I’ve seen it all, and then something like this comes around. The question we had to answer was: Is the sale of body parts or bones and remains illegal … or legal? Some of it, to our surprise, was legal. And as the investigation went on, it became clear there was illegal activity going on as well.”
The criminal complaint alleges Pauley admitted to purchasing two shipments of human body parts to sell to people for monetary gain. It also asserts that the woman was stealing the body parts from a mortuary in Arkansas and shipping them to Pennsylvania for sale.
Pauley initially appeared in court on Thursday and was released on a $50,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing.