Police: Woman hid veteran’s decomposing body in home for 9 months

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LAFAYETTE – Police are investigating the death of a Lafayette man whose decomposing body was discovered in his home nine months after he died.

According to the Tippecanoe County coroner, 88-year-old Gerald “Scooter” Gavan died around July 15, 2013. His body wasn’t found until May 2014.

Neighbors said they were shocked, because his caretaker visited the house on the 800 block of Shawnee Drive daily and acted like nothing was wrong.

“I just don’t understand a woman that can walk into that house day after day with a dead body in the bedroom,” said Tom Vaughan who lives across the street.

He said anytime someone asked Ila Solomon about Gavan’s whereabouts, she would tell them he was out-of-town or on a long trip away from home. He had no idea Gavan’s body was decomposing just a few feet away.

FOX59 reached out to Solomon for a comment, but did not hear back.

Vaughan and other neighbors described Gavan as a kind gentleman and veteran who would never hurt anyone. Now they are hoping for justice.

“I can’t imagine leaving a body in there for nine months. Can you imagine what that place smelled like?” asked Vaughan. “It’s just sad. It’s just sad.”
Lafayette Police told FOX59 the investigation into Gavan’s death is far from over and criminal charges are possible.