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The FBI made the grisly discovery when it raided the residence of James Nott in Mount Washington, Kentucky, on Tuesday, and found spinal cords, femurs, and hip bones, in addition to the skulls, according to the Courier-Journal.
According to investigators, Nott said “only my dead friends,” were home when asked by FBI agents present at the raid. Investigators said that the human bones were used as decorations throughout the residence, which was raided in connection to an alleged international and domestic body part trafficking scheme linked to Harvard and an Arkansas mortuary.
Nott is accused of using a fake name to sell human remains that he obtained from around the world. He allegedly used the name of a 19th-century serial killer, “William Burke,” to sell the bones on Facebook.
After the raid, Nott was charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. “The felon in possession of a firearm offense charged in today’s complaint, arose from a federal search warrant executed at Nott’s residence today, in connection with a search for firearms and trafficked human remains,” the Department of Justice said in a press release.
The criminal complaint against Nott says that law enforcement officers viewed his Facebook page and saw him “post human remains for sale on Facebook as recently as June 23.”
The raid comes after federal prosecutors said that several people stole and sold human remains, including brains and skin, from Harvard Medical School’s morgue. A grand jury indicted Cedric Lodge, 55, the morgue manager, and his wife in the criminal plot, which lasted from 2018 to earlier this year, according to a criminal complaint.
A Harvard Medical School bag was found at Nott’s residence, investigators said.
Lodge is accused of taking some of the remains that were supposed to be cremated to his Goffstown, New Hampshire, home and selling them to people in other states.
A total of eight people have so far been charged in the case, spanning several states. Nott was accused of coordinating sales of remains with Jeremy Pauley, of Pennsylvania.
“Some crimes defy understanding,” said United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam. “The theft and trafficking of human remains strikes at the very essence of what makes us human. It is particularly egregious that so many of the victims here volunteered to allow their remains to be used to educate medical professionals and advance the interests of science and healing. For them and their families to be taken advantage of in the name of profit is appalling. With these charges, we are seeking to secure some measure of justice for all these victims.”