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Harvard tells horrified husband his wife's remains may have been sold by morgue manager

Harvard tells horrified husband his wife's remains may have been sold by morgue manager

Jack Porter received a letter to tell him his wife's remains may have been involved in a body part trafficking operation

A man has said there should be 'severe punishment' after he received a letter from Harvard University to say his wife's remains may have been involved in a body part trafficking operation.

Jack Porter's wife, Raya Porter, passed away in November 2017 after being diagnosed with colon cancer.

Her body was then in Harvard's possession for about a year and three months as part of its Medical School’s Anatomical Gifts program, which receives donated bodies to teach anatomy to medical students.

Jack Porter is an associate at Harvard.
WCVB Channel 5 Boston

In February 2019, Porter received Raya's cremated remains, which he split into two boxes before scattering one in the ocean and taking the other to Raya's family in Ukraine. This month, Porter learned that not all of Raya's remains may have been returned to him.

The letter from Harvard came on the same day that former university employee Cedric Lodge was indicted in Pennsylvania on charges related to stealing and selling human body parts before they had chance to be cremated.

A federal indictment accuses Lodge, who was the manager of the morgue at Harvard, of dissecting portions of the deceased before taking them home and selling them online.

Jack learned from the letter that Porter's body 'may have been impacted' during Lodge's alleged operation.

Raya Porter agreed to donate her body to Harvard.
WCVB Channel 5 Boston

Dr. George Daley, the dean of the faculty of medicine at Harvard Medical School, wrote: “We have been working with information supplied by federal authorities and examining our records, particularly the logs showing when donor remains were sent to be cremated and when Lodge was on campus, to try to determine which donors may have been impacted,”

“At this time, we cannot rule out the potential that Raya Porter’s remains may have been impacted. Federal authorities continue to investigate and as additional information emerges, we will be in touch with you."

Porter, who works at Harvard as an associate of its Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, shared his horror at the situation with the Boston Herald.

He said: “What bothers me is that there’s somebody in some basement somewhere in this country or elsewhere fondling my wife’s body parts. It could be her brain, her skin, her bones. This is disgusting and this is why there should be a severe punishment.”

Porter acknowledged that Harvard had possession of his wife's body during the time period when 'Lodge had the ‘bright idea’ of making money'.

Jack Porter said their should be punishment for the operation.
WCVB Channel 5 Boston

The ring is believed to have involved seven people in total, and operated from some point in 2018 until March 2023.

Lodge's employment at the university was terminated on 6 March.

Though Porter believes there should be punishment for the alleged crimes, he said he doesn't 'have hatred' for Lodge, and instead 'pities him'.

As a sociologist, Porter is trying to think about the minds of people who could operate such a ring.

The husband is now just hopeful that some of the body parts will be recovered, adding: "All of us who are family members believe it’s a horrible thing that happened.”

Porter remembered Raya as a 'a beautiful Ukrainian woman' and a 'wonderful doctor'. She had been a gynecologist in Ukraine, but had been unable to work as a physician in the US.

In response to the accusations, Harvard Medical School described them as 'morally reprehensible'. The university described the claims as a 'betrayal' of its medical school and the people who chose to donate their bodies.

UNILAD has contacted Harvard University for further comment.

Featured Image Credit: NBC Boston

Topics: Crime, US News, Science