A Woman Lived With Her Husband’s Corpse For Nine Months And No One Had Any Idea

The coroner estimated the man’s body has been rotting in the house since July 15, 2013.

1. An elderly veteran found decomposing on his living room floor last month had been there for more than nine months, a coronor found, while his wife continued to go about her business as usual.

Gerald Francis Gavan Jr., 88, likely died more than nine months before his body was found lying near the front door of his Lafayette, Ind., home on May 3, Tippecanoe County Coroner Donna Avolt said.

She added that a forensic entomologist will testify that Gavan died July 15, if not earlier.

2. Neighbors said the man’s wife, Ila Solomon, whom they knew as his live-in caretaker, carried on as if nothing were out of the ordinary, as reported by the The Lafayette Journal & Courier.

3. Solomon refuted the coroner’s report altogether, denying that the man died until April 28. She declined to say why she didn’t report the death at that time.

“I think that there is enough proof and evidence that that’s not true,” she said of the coroner’s report.

Gavan’s widow said her actions were rooted in a deep compassion for him.

“I love Scooter,” Solomon said. “There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for him.”

4. Tyler Imel, who lived next door, said he was unnerved by the revelation, especially because he spent time on Gavan’s porch with Solomon, “never suspecting the man’s body was rotting just a few feet away.”

“It’s really disturbing,” he said, “the fact that we’ve been living here the whole time and talking to her.”

Correction: The name of the Tippecanoe County Coroner is Donna Avolt. An earlier version of this article misspelled her name.

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Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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