EAST PENNSBORO TOWNSHIP, Pa. (WHTM) — East Pennsboro Township Police have arrested a man they said was allegedly purchasing and selling human remains on Facebook.

According to police, on June 14, 2022, officers received a call for an Enola man allegedly buying body parts on Facebook.

Police say they spoke with 40-year-old Jeremy Pauley who said he was a collector of “oddities” and that he had three full skeletons and approximately 15-20 human skulls. Police say these items were “very old and came from a legitimate purchase.”

Cumberland County District Attorney Seán McCormack calls the case “one of the most bizarre” he has seen in his 33-year career.

“I have seen a lot of strange and unusual stuff over the years,” he said. “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a case like this comes by.”

On July 8, police received a call from someone who found five buckets of human organs and skin in a basement. East Pennsboro Police Detectives, Cumberland County Forensics, and the Cumberland County Coroners’ office executed a search warrant on the residence and found 3-5 gallon buckets containing various human remains.

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According to court records, the buckets contained two human brains, skin, a heart, kidney, spleen, fat, skull with hair, two livers, six pieces of skin/fat, a trachea, a child mandible with teeth, and two lungs.

Further investigation found that Pauley was allegedly buying human remains via Facebook Messenger from a woman in Arkansas.

Police say Pauley bought $4,000 worth of body parts consisting of half a head, a whole head minus the skull cap, three brains with skull cap, one heart, one liver, one lung, two kidneys, one full female pelvis, one piece of skin with a nipple, and four hands.

Police determined the items were shipped via the United States Postal Service from Arkansas. An investigation by FBI Arkansas and Arkansas State Police shows a woman, identified in court records as Candace Scott, was allegedly stealing body parts from a mortuary in Arkansas that were the property of the University of Arkansas. Pennsylvania court records did not say whether the woman was charged.

“When you get to the core of the case, this is a case about receiving stolen property,” McCormack said.

East Pennsboro Police and an agent from FBI Harrisburg interviewed Pauley who, according to the affidavit, admitted to purchasing two shipments of body parts from Scott in Arkansas. Police say Pauley admitted he was selling those body parts to people for monetary gain.

“If you equate it to like stolen car parts or something like that…if they are dealing in stolen car parts, selling them, it’s a higher level charge, and that’s what you’re going to have in this case,” McCormack said.

Human remains were also located in Scranton, according to East Pennsboro Township Police. Court documents have also identified a Bloomsburg address for Pauley.

Pauley was arrested and released on $50,000 bail on charges of felony Dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities, felony receiving stolen property, misdemeanor receiving stolen property, and misdemeanor abuse of a corpse.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences released a statement regarding the investigation:

“UAMS is extremely grateful to the many people who unselfishly donate their bodies to our anatomical gift program for use in medical education and research. Human bodies are an indispensable aid in the education of medical students, nurses and other health professions students. UAMS is extremely respectful of our donors when they are here in our care. We have a contract with Arkansas Central Mortuary Services to take the bodies for cremation after they are no longer being used by our students.  An employee of the mortuary service is under investigation by federal authorities for stealing some human remains from the mortuary that were donated to UAMS. We are saddened and appalled that this happened.”

Leslie Taylor
Vice Chancellor, Communications & Marketing
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

The cooperative investigation was conducted by the East Pennsboro Township Police, FBI Harrisburg, FBI Scranton, FBI Arkansas, Arkansas State Police, Cumberland County Coroners office, Cumberland County Forensics Division, Bloomsburg Police Department, United States Postal Service, and the Pennsylvania State Police. 

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A preliminary hearing for Pauley is set for September 14.