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Skulls and buckets full of human skin: Pennsylvania man arrested for allegedly trafficking human remains on Facebook

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Photo by Wahyu M/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

On August 18, East Pennsboro Township Police arrested 40-year-old Bloomsburg resident Jeremy Pauley in Enola, Pennsylvania. Pauley was charged with abuse of a corpse, receiving stolen property, and with dealing in proceeds of unlawful activities. He was released on $50,000 bail.

A June 14 tip to police alleging suspicious activity in the 200 block of N. Enola Road triggered an interstate investigation, ultimately involving multiple law enforcement agencies including the FBI, East Pennsboro Township Police, Arkansas State Police, the Bloomsburg Police Department, the U.S. Postal Service, and Pennsylvania State Police.

Investigators followed up on the initial tip and spoke to Pauley, who allegedly told them that he was a collector of "oddities." Pauley is said to have also told police that he was indeed in possession of human remains: Three human skeletons and somewhere between 15 and 20 human skulls. At the time, investigators concluded that, though the purchases were "very odd," they were legitimate.

Another tip came into police on July 8, alleging that in Pauley's basement were buckets of human skin and human organs.

After acquiring a search warrant, police returned to Pauley's home. Inside, they found between three and five buckets of human remains.

According to KTHV, the forensic examiner to whom the remains were brought for confirmation concluded that the buckets contained:

  • two human brains;
  • human skin and human fat;
  • a human heart;
  • a human kidney;
  • a human skull with hair;
  • two human livers;
  • a human trachea;
  • a human child's jaw and teeth; and
  • two human lungs.

The investigation determined that Pauley was allegedly purchasing human body parts from a woman in Arkansas named Candice Scott and reselling the remains on Facebook for a profit.

Among the items Scott sold Pauley were: a piece of a human torso including a nipple; three human brains with skull caps; human hands; and a woman's pelvis, all shipped via USPS but intercepted by State Police in Scranton.

Scott had allegedly been providing Pauley parts sourced from a mortuary, at least some of which are said to have been the property of the University of Arkansas.

Pauley, executive director of the Memento Mori Museum since 2021, was advertising human bones on his Facebook page as recently as August 16. Among the items he showcased on his feed were "pounds and pounds of teeth," clavicles, pelvises, femurs, and in a June 24 post, a "[v]ery old child skull ... SOLD."

He indicated in a March 28 post that he had also begun to collect artwork by serial killer John Wayne Gacy.

Pauley's preliminary hearing is set for September 14.

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