Man Found with Buckets of Human Organs, Skin He Bought on Facebook: Police

A Pennsylvania man has been found with multiple buckets of stolen human body parts that he allegedly purchased off of Facebook, according to police.

East Pennsboro Township Police said that they arrested Jeremy Pauley, 40, of Enola on Thursday after making the discovery while searching his basement. Police said that Pauley is a self-described collector of "oddities" and was in possession of three full human skeletons and up to 20 human skulls, according to ABC affiliate WHTM. He was released soon after posting $50,000 bail.

The investigation began when police received a complaint on June 14 about human remains potentially being sold on Facebook. Suspicion of Pauley's alleged involvement began after a person called police on July 8 to report finding multiple 5-gallon buckets containing "human organs" and "human skin" in his basement.

"This is one of the most bizarre investigations I have encountered in my thirty-three years as a prosecutor," Cumberland County District Attorney Seán M. McCormack said in a statement. "Just when I think I have seen it all, a case like this comes around."

Human Body Parts Sold Facebook Pennsylvania Police
A man is pictured carrying two buckets in this undated file photo. Police in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, arrested a different man on Thursday after allegedly discovering buckets filled with stolen human body parts in his basement. dusanpetkovic/Getty

The remains found in Pauley's basement included a human heart, brains, livers, skin and lungs. A child's mandible with attached teeth, pieces of skin, a trachea and a skull with attached hair were also found, according to WHTM.

Police said that they discovered Pauley had been buying the remains over Facebook Messenger from an Arkansas woman named Candace Scott, who allegedly stole the parts from a mortuary. He reportedly purchased $4,000 in organs and skin in hopes of reselling the items for profit.

Pauley was charged with abuse of corpse, receiving stolen property and dealing in proceeds of unlawful activity.

Jeremy Pauley Human Body Parts Buckets Suspect
Suspect Jeremy Pauley is pictured in this photo released by the Cumberland County District Attorney's Office on August 18, 2022. Cumberland County District Attorney's Office

"When you get to the core of the case, this is a case about receiving stolen property," McCormack told WHTM. "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,"

The remains, which are the property of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), were allegedly sent to Pennsylvania via the U.S. Postal Service. Authorities intercepted and confiscated multiple packages which contained additional remains.

"Human bodies are an indispensable aid in the education of medical students, nurses and other health professions students," UAMS said in a statement obtained by Newsweek. "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," the statement continued. "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."

Newsweek reached out to Facebook for comment.

Update 8/19/22, 4:09 p.m. ET: This story has been updated with additional information and background.