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Pennsylvania man charged with illegally purchasing human remains

Jeremy Pauley, 40, of Enola, is charged with buying human organs from an Arkansas woman to sell, according to East Pennsboro Township police.

ENOLA, Pa. — Cumberland County police have charged a Bloomsburg man with abusing a corpse and other offenses after he allegedly tried to buy human remains from an Arkansas woman to resell on Facebook.

Jeremy Pauley, 40, was charged after an investigation that began June 14, according to East Pennsboro Township Police.

Pauley, who court records list as a Bloomsburg resident but is referred to as an Enola resident by police, describes himself on his Facebook page as the owner/curator of the Great Wunderkammer and the executive director and curator of the Memento Mori Museum.

The Greater Wunderkammer Facebook page describes the group as “sellers of the weird and unusual” and that their events include “museum exhibits, guest lectures, live entertainment and much more!”

Pauley’s personal Facebook account has over 4,900 friends.

The items he lists for sale on his page are described by Pauley as “medical bones”, “femurs”, “mandible bones”, “teeth” and various other bones.

According to police, the investigation into Pauley began on June 14, when police received a phone call about suspicious activity at a house in the 200 block of North Enola Road in Enola.

The informant told police that a suspect, later identified as Pauley, was buying human body parts and selling them on Facebook, according to police.

Investigators went to interview Pauley at his home in Enola, according to the affidavit in the criminal complaint filed against him.

During the interview, Pauley allegedly told police he was in possession of three complete human skeletons and about 15 to 20 human skulls, according to the complaint.

Pauley described himself as a collector of “quirks” and said the items were purchased legally, according to police.

Investigators said the items appeared to be “very old” and that Pauley appeared to have acquired them through a “legitimate purchase,” according to the complaint.

On July 8, according to police, they received another call about Pauley. The caller said he found other human remains in the basement of Pauley’s home. The caller reported that there were buckets of “human skin” and “human organs” in the basement, the complaint states.

Police executed a search warrant at the home and recovered three to five buckets containing suspected human remains, which were taken to the Cumberland County Coroner’s Office and then transported to Dauphin County for testing, according to the complaint.

According to investigators, a medical examiner later determined that the buckets contained:

  • human brains (2)
  • human skin and human fat (6 pieces)
  • a human heart
  • a human kidney
  • a human skull with hair
  • human livers (2)
  • a human trachea
  • the mandible of a human child with teeth
  • human lungs (2)

Further investigation determined that Pauley was purchasing the remains of an Arkansas woman, whom police identified as Candace Scott. A review of Facebook Messenger exchanges determined that Pauley purchased several human remains from Scott for $4,000, including:

  • half a human head
  • a whole human head minus the skullcap
  • three human brains with skull caps
  • a human heart
  • a human liver
  • a human lung
  • human kidneys (2)
  • a human female pelvis
  • a piece of human torso including a nipple
  • human hands (4)

Police said the items were shipped to Pauley via the US Postal Service. State police intercepted the remains in Scranton, according to the complaint.

District Attorney Sean M. McCormack called the case “one of the most bizarre investigations” he has encountered in his 33 years as a prosecutor.

Just when I think I’ve seen it all, a case like this comes up,” McCormack said.

Investigators contacted Arkansas police, who determined that Scott was stealing the remains from a morgue and sending them to Pauley to resell. The remains were determined to belong to the University of Arkansas, according to the complaint.

Leslie Taylor, University of Arkansas Vice Chancellor of Communications and Marketing for Medical Sciences, released the following statement:

UAMS is extremely grateful to the many individuals who generously donate their bodies to our anatomical donation program for use in medical education and research. Human bodies are an indispensable aid in the training of medical students, nurses and other students of health professions.

UAMS is extremely respectful of our donors while they are here in our care. We have a contract with Arkansas Central Mortuary Services to take bodies for cremation after they are no longer used by our students.

A mortuary service employee is being investigated by federal authorities for taking human remains from the morgue that were donated to UAMS. We are saddened and appalled that this has happened.

“While the Arkansas State Police Criminal Investigations Division was an active partner in the investigation, the link to the criminal charges is based on a federal investigation,” said Bill Sadler, spokesman for the Arkansas State Police. Arkansas State Police, to KSFM-TV. “All inquiries regarding this matter should be directed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Little Rock.”

Connor Hagan, an FBI spokesperson in Little Rock, told KSFM that the agency was aware of the charges by East Pennsboro Township police, but declined to provide further details due to the nature during the investigation.

Police questioned Pauley again on July 15. He allegedly admitted to buying the items from Scott and reselling them on Facebook for profit, according to the complaint.

According to court records.

Pauley is currently free after posting $50,000 bond, according to court records. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 14.

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