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Widow facing charges says she’s only guilty of one thing

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – In the seven months since 54-year-old Ila Solomon first talked to WISH-TV’s sister station WLFI-TV, she has been encumbered with nine charges in relation to the death of her husband, 89-year-old Gerald Scooter Gavan. Those charges include failure to report a dead body, welfare fraud and theft. Solomon said she is innocent of the charges except for one- failure to report a dead body.

In Solomon’s earlier interview with WISH-TV’s sister station WLFI-TV, she said her husband wanted to be eaten by birds after death so she opened the door to their home, and left his body on the ground. On Saturday, Solomon still maintained that was Gavan’s dying wish.

“Yeah, I know I broke the law,” Solomon said. “I know it was naughty, but it really was so important to Scooter.”

Investigators said Gavan was dead inside the home from July 2013 until police found his body in May. As WLFI previously reported, an autopsy showed bug and body decomposition that supported the time of death.

However, Solomon still says Gavan died a few days before he was found in late April. Solomon said she has been doing research and found articles about how fast a body can decompose like Gavan’s.

“I’ve been doing some research, and I found out the bug guys know how to turn a body into a skeleton in 14 days,” Solomon said.

Since Solomon said Gavan was alive until April, she said she is not guilty of misusing his funds. She said she was using them to fix up their neighboring Lafayette property to make it easier for the 89-year-old to move around.

“[Investigators] said this is money I stole,” Solomon said. “Like I was taking it away from him. But this is money that was being used for him because he was still alive.”

Finally, Solomon said $15 million is missing from Gavan’s family estate. Money she said was supposed to go to several local charities.

“It doesn’t seem like anybody is worried about it,” Solomon said. “All they’re worried about is social security money that I actually gave back, and said we’d fight about this later.”

Even though Solomon said she is innocent, the charges against her still stand. Her pretrial was pushed back this week until March 24.