Uh, this is disturbing!
A Pennsylvania man has been charged with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property, and other charges after police claim he tried to buy stolen human remains from a female mortuary employee in Arkansas! And the whole sale went down on Facebook Messenger! What the heck?!
Speaking to ABC News on Friday, Leslie Taylor, a spokeswoman for the University of Arkansas‘ Medical Sciences department in Little Rock, Arkansas, confirmed the wild reports, explaining the remains were donated to UAMS’ facility and were sent to a mortuary for cremation. According to Leslie, the remains were sent to Arkansas Central Mortuary Services in Little Rock — where they were allegedly stolen by a female mortuary employee and sold!!!
Insisting UAMS would never do such a thing, Taylor remarked:
“We are very respectful of those who donate their bodies, and we are appalled that such a thing could happen.”
A representative for the mortuary hung up on an ABC News reporter when asked to comment on the situation. While a federal investigation has begun, no charges have been filed against the Arkansas woman as of Thursday. FBI Little Rock spokesman Conor Hagan told the outlet the office was aware of the incident “but will not comment on ongoing investigations.”
Meanwhile, 40-year-old Jeremy Lee Pauley, or Enola, Pennsylvania, was arrested on July 22 and charged in connection to the incident, the East Pennsboro Township Police in Pennsylvania announced. He had his first appearance in court on Thursday. According to court records, he was released on a $50,000 bond. Wow!
Jeremy has reportedly posted several photos of bags and stacks of body parts on a Facebook page under his name, including femurs, teeth, and skulls. He captioned one photo:
“Picked up more medical bones to sort through.”
He also markets his body parts on another Facebook page and shop called “The Grand Wunderkammer.” Along with a link to the website, he explained online:
“Vendors of the odd and unusual, museum exhibits, guest lectures, live entertainment, and so much more! Strange, curious, and unique in every way possible!”
Jeremy described himself as a collector of “oddities,” including human body parts, when he first spoke to the police. At the time, he claimed he acquired the remains found on his property legally, according to a police affidavit. And, shockingly, while police did find what was described as older human remains (including full skeletons), they determined they were legally obtained! Who knew that was a thing?!
Everything changed more recently when authorities received a second tip about newer remains in the collector’s home. When investigators returned in early July, they discovered three five-gallon buckets of assorted body parts (including of children). Tying him to the initial crime, federal and state law enforcement agents also intercepted packages addressed to Jeremy from the Arkansas woman containing the allegedly stolen body parts!
The remains discovered reportedly included half a head, a whole head, several brains, a heart, a liver, a lung, kidneys, a female pelvis, a torso with a nipple, and four human hands, via DailyMail.com. Jeez.
Jeremy told officials he intended to resell the body parts, according to the affidavit. Investigators claim he and the Arkansas woman contacted each other through Facebook Messenger, where the man arranged to pay the seller $4,000 for the remains. Facebook didn’t respond to a question for comment from ABC News, which noted the site’s community standards prohibit human exploitation and the selling of body parts. Again, who knew they needed to have rules against those kinds of sales?!
We’re not the only ones SHOCKED by this case. Sean McCormack, district attorney for Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, where Jeremy was arrested, said in a press conference via ABC News:
“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.”
We’ll have to wait and see if the mortuary or its rebel employee face any consequences! If convicted, Jeremy is looking at up to several years behind bars for his various charges. You can hear more on the case (below).
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