The photograph showed a man who was indeed charged in the Harvard morgue case, and who later reportedly pleaded guilty to charges related to it. However ...
... The man depicted in the photograph was not a Harvard morgue employee.
In June 2023, a photograph began to spread online claiming to show a "Harvard morgue employee" charged in connection with trafficking in human remains.
"Harvard morgue employee charged with trafficking human remains after selling 2 dissected faces for $600," a Twitter post said on June 19, 2023. The post was attached to a photograph of the alleged employee.
Harvard morgue employee charged with trafficking human remains after selling 2 dissected faces for $600 ?‼️ pic.twitter.com/mDmkTHrrTQ
— RapTV (@Rap) June 19, 2023
We also found other posts about the trafficking claims that included the photograph on social media platforms like TikTok, Reddit, and Facebook. And we found a Complex article that prominently featured the picture with the headline, "Harvard Morgue Manager And Associates Charged With Trafficking Human Remains, Sold Parts Via Facebook And PayPal."
While the person depicted was indeed charged and had reportedly pleaded guilty in connection with trafficking human remains from Harvard, he was not an employee for the morgue.
According to news reports, the man in the photograph, Jeremy Pauley, pleaded guilty to two criminal counts related to the Harvard morgue case: conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property and interstate transportation of stolen property. We found the photograph that spread across social media in reports from multiple reputable publications, including from broadcast stations and local reporters.
According to CBS News, Pauley was previously arrested in July 2022 on multiple counts related to abusing a corpse, receiving stolen property, and other alleged crimes. We found the picture that spread across social media originally posted on the Crimewatch page for the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office in August 2022. (Crimewatch is a website many police departments use in Pennsylvania.)
Cedric Lodge was the manager of the Harvard morgue accused of selling stolen body parts from Harvard Medical School. At the time of publication, he and other defendants in the case had been arraigned and given a future court date, according to CBS' Boston station WBZ-TV