Man Who Had Buckets of Human Remains Promoted Himself as 'Preservation Specialist of Retired Medical Specimens'

Jeremy Pauley was sentenced to probation after police found stolen human body parts in his basement

<p>East Pennsboro Police</p> Jeremy Pauley mugshot

East Pennsboro Police

Jeremy Pauley mugshot

When police first showed up at Jeremy Pauley’s house in June 2022 after getting a call accusing him of hoarding human remains, he calmly told police he was a “collector of oddities.”

The 15 to 20 skulls and assorted skeletons he had at his Enola, Pa., home, were legally purchased, Pauley, 41, told East Pennsboro Township officers, police said, according to a criminal complaint cited by Fox 43.

Not only was he a collector of oddities, but he also considered himself the “lead preservation specialist of retired medical specimens and curator to history remains and artifacts,” according to his website, which declares on one page, “REMEMBER YOU MUST DIE."

Pauley says on his website that he has dedicated his career to his museum, The Memento Mori, and “to his efforts in the restorative and creative works of the Pauley Institute of Preservation."

The website features a backdrop photograph of several human fetuses in jars.

The "Laws" section of the website, which is divided into three sections -- Federal Law, State Law and Import Regulations - is blank.

Related: Man Sentenced After Police Found Buckets of Human Remains in Harvard Medical School Scandal

The officers who initially went to Pauley's house left but returned in the next month, in July 2022, after receiving a call from a tipster who claimed there were buckets of “human skin” and “human organs” in the basement of his home, the complaint says.

Armed with a search warrant, police found three five-gallon buckets filled with body parts including six pieces of human skin and human fat, a human heart, a human kidney, a human skull with hair, two human brains, two human livers, two human lungs, a human trachea and a child’s mandible with teeth, according to the criminal complaint.

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He was arrested and charged by local police with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, police said.

He pleaded guilty to abuse of a corpse in January. As part of his agreement with prosecutors to plead guilty, the other charges were dismissed, WGAL reports.

Related: Harvard Medical School Morgue Manager Accused of Stealing and Selling Human Remains: 'Some Crimes Defy Understanding'

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to two years of supervised probation, according to WHP, WGAL and WFMZ.

Calling the case "one of the most bizarre investigations" he has ever had in his 33 years as a prosecutor, District Attorney Sean M. McCormack said, "Just when I think I have seen it all, a case like this comes around," Fox 43 reports.

Federal Guilty Plea in Harvard Medical School Scandal

Pauley’s legal woes are far from over. He is also awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to federal charges in connection to the buying and selling of stolen human remains, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced in Sept. 2023.

Pauley pleaded guilty in federal court to interstate transport of stolen property and conspiracy to interstate transport of stolen property for buying and selling body parts. In doing so, he "admitted to his role in a nationwide network of individuals who bought and sold human remains stolen from Harvard Medical School and an Arkansas mortuary,” the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Related: Their Dad's Body Was Stolen from the Harvard Morgue. Now Kids Want Their Mom Back: 'It's Just Sickening'

Pauley bought body parts from the former manager of the Harvard Medical School morgue, who sometimes let his customers come and pick out body parts from cadavers in the morgue, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Pauley also admitted to selling many of the stolen remains to others, at least one of whom also knew the remains had been stolen, according to the U.S, Attorney's Office.

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