Widow speaks after husband found dead 9 months later

LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A Lafayette woman was still waiting to find out if she will be charged in the case of her husband’s death and decomposing body.

Ila Solomon's husband was found dead May 3 in the living room of their home -- nine months after he had died.

Solomon sat down with RTV6 on Thursday to give an interview and a tour of her home.

RELATED: Police investigate death unreported for months | Police turn over case to prosecutor after death goes unreported

The 54-year-old widow pointed out where her deceased husband, 88-year-old Gerald Gavan, died. He was a World War II veteran.

"I just think that somebody who did so much for the United States should have the death he wanted, that's all. He just wanted to be eaten by the birds to be part of the cycle of life," Solomon said.

Solomon said her husband wanted to be part of a ritual in India where vultures consume human bodies after death.

"Plan number two would be for me to take him outside or him to die outside so that the birds could eat him here, but that didn't happen, instead he died right there," Solomon said.

So Solomon said she opened a side door after he died and hoped the birds would eat her husband’s corpse.

Officers with the Lafayette Police Department investigated the case. Solomon said the body was there for five days, but the coroner said the body had decomposed for at least nine months and the cause of death was undetermined.

By not reporting Gavan's death, Solomon violated state law. Solomon said she has not yet been charged with a crime. She was asked if she thought charges would be filed.

"I don't know, but I know I did commit failure to report and that is a crime. I don't know if they'll charge me with failure to report or not," Solomon said.

Solomon claims she has repaid the federal government thousands of dollars disbursed to her dead husband. She said she took out a loan against her life insurance policy to do so.

Solomon had what appeared to be Gavan's last will and testament. It stated Gavan wanted a traditional burial.

Solomon said a trust was written later where Gavan stated he wanted to be eaten by birds in India. Solomon said Lafayette police were in possession of that document.

As for what’s next, Solomon said she had a plan.

"I have kind of learned that there's a really big need for grief counseling and so I was thinking of becoming a grief counselor," Solomon said.

In the meantime, she was waiting to learn her fate from prosecutors.

Several calls were made to the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office to ask if they plan to file charges against Solomon, but no calls were returned as of Thursday night.

Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1

Print this article Back to Top