Pennsylvania Man Accused of Buying, Selling Human Skin and Organs

Pennsylvania man

Jeremy Lee Pauley, 40, of Enola, Pennsylvania, was arrested on Aug. 18, 2022, for dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities, abuse of a corpse, and two counts of receiving stolen property — crimes police say are tied to their discovery of three buckets of flesh and bones in his basement. Composite by Coffee or Die Magazine.

In a 21st-century twist on the crime of grave robbing, a Pennsylvania man stands accused of illegally purchasing stolen human skin and organs.

Jeremy Lee Pauley, 40, of Enola, was arrested on Aug. 18 for dealing in the proceeds of unlawful activities, abuse of a corpse, and two counts of receiving stolen property, crimes police said were tied to their discovery of three buckets of flesh and bones in his basement.

“It’s sick and twisted for sure,” East Pennsboro Township Police Detective Sgt. Adam Shope told Coffee or Die Magazine.

Neither Pauley nor his attorney responded to Coffee or Die Magazine‘s messages seeking comment.

Receiving stolen property is a third-degree felony, and each count carries a sentence of up to seven years behind bars and a $15,000 fine.

Pennsylvania man

Many people and institutions worldwide collect human bones and organs. This display of sick human brains was seen at the Museum of Neuropathology in Lima, Peru, on Nov. 16, 2016. The Museum of Neuropathology at the Santo Toribio de Mogrovejo hospital bears a collection of 290 brains and offers an unusual journey by encephalic masses, unveiling the secrets of the most complex organ of the human body. Photo by Ernesto Benavides/AFP/Getty Images.

The case seems to have begun on June 14, when Pauley’s wife, Sarah, tipped off officers about a sale on Facebook Marketplace involving “possible” human remains, according to a criminal complaint filed by Shope.

On July 8, Pauley’s wife reported finding three buckets of remains in the basement. That triggered a raid by East Pennsboro Police detectives and personnel from Cumberland Country Forensics and the coroner’s office. They counted a heart, a kidney, a spleen, some fat, a skull with hair, a trachea, and a child’s mandible with teeth, plus two livers, two brains, two lungs, and six pieces of skin stuck to fat.

It was unlawful to own those remains, Shope wrote in the criminal complaint, but Pauley also possessed a collection of oddities that included “at least three full human skeletons, over seven glass jars containing infant human remains, over five human skulls, and over 50 rib bones” that apparently arrived legally from museums and medical centers.

Facebook messages, however, allegedly revealed Pauley was trying to buy more remains from an Arkansas woman, Candace Scott, including half of a head, a whole head minus the skull cap, brains with a skull cap, a heart, a liver, a lung, kidneys, some hands, a female pelvis, and a piece of skin with nipple.

Pennsylvania man

Left: Resurrectionists, another name for grave robbers, stealing a corpse from a cemetery to be sold for anatomical study and dissection, circa 1840. Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images. Right: the skeleton of a woman can be seen in her tomb looted by grave robbers in the cemetery of the Puelma nitrate camp on the outskirts of Antofagasta, Chile, on June 15, 2015. Photo by Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images.

Authorities said personnel from the FBI, US Postal Service agents, and Pennsylvania State Police intercepted the parcels and discovered the remains belonged to the University of Arkansas.

They had allegedly been diverted from a mortuary to Pauley, who was “selling those body parts to people for monetary gain,” according to the complaint.

“This is one of the most bizarre investigations I have encountered in my 33 years as a prosecutor,” District Attorney Seán M. McCormack said in a prepared statement.

“It’s bizarre,” Shope added. “Anyone can buy this stuff on Facebook.”

Pauley’s preliminary hearing is slated for Sept. 14 at 1:15 p.m. in Enola, Pennsylvania.

Read Next: Watchdogs Prep Case Against Fraudster Who Bilked GI Bill Veterans

Noelle is an award-winning journalist from Cincinnati, Ohio, who came to Coffee or Die Magazine following a fellowship from Military Veterans in Journalism. She graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has strived to be a military journalist ever since her internships with the US Army Cadet Command in college. She worked as a civilian journalist covering several units, including the 75th Ranger Regiment on Fort Benning, before she joined the military herself and served as a public affairs specialist attached to the 3rd Infantry Division. She deployed once to fill a role as a media analyst for the Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve in Kuwait. She has a passion for sharing stories of heroes and people who are far more interesting than they think they are. She follows where the job takes her, but currently resides on the East Coast in Georgia.
More from Coffee or Die Magazine
Airmen assigned to the MacDill Air Force Base are allowed to evacuate as Hurricane Ian approaches, but some may have to pay for their own evacuation.
The combined Chinese-Russian surface action group intercepted by US forces earlier in September in the Bering Sea was far more powerful than initially reported.
Ukraine’s defense intelligence agency reported that Russian commanders authorized rear detachments to open fire on soldiers who abandon their battlefield positions.
A Houston, Texas, couple was stunned to find that a gun case they bought from an online surplus retailer held a dozen M16-style rifles.
The defense team is trying to punch holes in the prosecution’s theory about what caused the Bonhomme Richard blaze.
The Chinese-Russian surface action group was sailing north of Kiska Island.
Larry Nemec mysteriously disappeared off his boat near Galveston, Texas.
NCIS claims Seaman Recruit Ryan Mays sparked the $1.2 billion Bonhomme Richard blaze.
TacGas, a media production company for the tactical and entertainment industries, made its mark producing and capturing hyperrealistic and supremely accurate military simulations for its clients’ marketing and training needs.
Now that active-duty Army recruits can select their first duty stations, Alaska’s bases and Fort Carson, Colorado, have come out on top. Midwestern bases and Bragg — not so much.