Police: Dead man’s caretaker also his wife

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – A voice mail message was all News 18 got Tuesday, after multiple attempts to try to contact Ila Solomon.

Lafayette police have confirmed Solomon was the caretaker of the man found dead inside his home in the 800 block of Shawnee Ave. on Saturday. A man named Gerald “Scooter” Gavan lived in the home, but police said they can’t confirm it was his body, until autopsy results are complete.

Neighbor Tom Vaughan said he’s known the man for more than 50 years.

“Very nice old man,” said Vaughan. “He didn’t bother anybody. Just a good old man.”

Vaughan said he’d met Solomon a few times and said she’s a nice woman. However, he said there was one thing he noticed about her.

“When you talk to her, she’ll come up with some stories that are really unbelievable,” said Vaughan.

That’s what Vaughan thought when he found out Solomon claimed to be the man’s wife.

Lafayette Police Capt. Kurt Wolf told News 18 Solomon told officers she married Gavan in 2012.

“That’s not true,” said Vaughan. “He’s never been married.”

News 18 tried to obtain a copy of the marriage license. Tippecanoe County clerk Christa Coffey said a marriage license for the couple doesn’t exist anywhere in the state.

Vaughan said it also seemed odd when friends came asking about the man Saturday, the same day his body was found.

“She said he was at the Kentucky Derby,” said Vaughan. “He wasn’t at the Kentucky Derby.”

Police said the man was 89 years old. Solomon is 54.

Vaughan said he’d seen less and less of Gavan as he aged. But the last time he saw him, he said he was as friendly as ever.

“He was looking good,” said Vaughan. “You know, he looked healthy to me. So, I don’t know. I don’t know what happened to him.”

Police have confirmed that they have interviewed Solomon, but they won’t comment any further on her involvement until the investigation is complete.

That investigation could take several weeks.

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