LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Gerald Gavan’s autopsy showed he had been dead in his home since July of 2013. Although the coroner says all tests show it to be a correct date of death, his widow Ila Solomon said it just isn’t true.
“He said, ‘Get me outside. Do this loving thing for me. It’s time. Get me outside to the birds,'” Solomon said.
Those are the last words Gerald Gavan spoke, according to Solomon. She said her husband died after having a stroke April 28, and didn’t want a typical burial.
“He wanted to be eaten by the vultures like they did in India,” Solomon said. So we had planned on going to India, but he didn’t live long enough for us to get there.”
Solomon said Gavan died on the living room floor, and she was unable to move him outside. The 54-year-old widow doesn’t recall the next several hours after Gavan’s death.
“I don’t remember a whole lot, but then I remember it was nighttime. I was still sitting in the chair, and I opened up the door, and I could hear the vultures outside,” added Solomon.
Solomon wanted to fulfill Gavan’s final request and said it was better to leave him there.
“So I just just been opening up the door every night for him, but the birds never came in,” Solomon said.
Over the next several days Solomon said the smell of Gavan’s decomposing body was too much to handle, and began staying at her next door residence.
“I stayed at 858,” said Solomon.
“So you didn’t check on him?,” asked News 18’s Samantha Thieke.
“Well, I had to feed the fish,” said Solomon.
She isn’t sure how police were informed of Gavan’s body, but recalls the police coming to the home.
“When the police officers came, I got scared. And because you can’t fly away physically, you fly away in your brain. I can remember sitting down on the steps, but I don’t remember anything else after that really,” added Solomon.
After police came to the Shawnee Avenue home, Solomon said she forgot her husband of two years was dead.
“I know I’m having a lot of issues putting things together, especially when it comes to that Saturday,” Solomon said. And I know there’s big blocks of time that I can’t account for that week. I find that disturbing.”
Solomon said she is prepared to pay back any social security and pension if ordered. She said although it may seem like an unusual situation, it’s what her late husband would have wanted.
“I don’t feel guilty at all. I did the right thing,” Soloman said.
Sam asked, What about the people who say you didn’t?
She replied, “Everybody’s got an opinion.”
According to Solomon, Lafayette police took financial records from her home, but she didn’t know why.
News 18 contacted LPD about the records, but they would not give out any information because it is an ongoing investigation.
For now, Solomon said she is trying to raise money so she can send Gavan’s body to the Forensic Anthropology Center at Texas State.