East Pennsboro Township Police (PA) announced the arrest of 40-year-old man they say arranged to pay an Arkansas woman $4,000 for human remains through Facebook Messenger.
Police charged Jeremy Lee Pauley, of Enola, PA, with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property, and other offenses and allege he tried to buy stolen human remains from an Arkansas woman for possible resale..
A spokeswoman for the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock confirmed that the remains were to be donated to UAMS's facility, reports CBS Philadelphia. UAMS spokeswoman Leslie Taylor said they were instead stolen from Arkansas Central Mortuary Services in Little Rock by a female mortuary employee and sold.
Police arrested Pauley July 22 and more details were available after his court appearance yesterday. Court records show he was released on a $50,000 bond.
In a first search of Pauley’s home, police report they found legally-obtained human remains, including full skeletons, that were older. After a tip, police searched again and found newer remains including three five-gallon buckets containing assorted body parts. Federal and local officers intercepted packages containing body parts they say were sent to Pauley by the Arkansas woman.
"I think I've seen it all, and then something like this comes around," says Sean McCormack, district attorney for Cumberland County, PA. "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."