10/14/2014 03:27 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Woman Allegedly Lived With Husband's Corpse For 9 Months

An Indiana woman accused of living with her husband’s corpse for 9 months was jailed last week.

Ila Solomon, 55, was arrested Thursday, the Indy Channel reports. Her husband, Gerald Gavan, was found dead in her home in May by police who showed up looking for him.

Solomon allegedly told officers Gavan had moved to an assisted living facility, but when they entered the house they say they found the man’s corpse underneath a tarp in the living room. A coroner would later determine Gavan had died 9 months earlier, at the age of 88. The cause of death has not yet been determined.

Solomon told WHP in June that her husband only died a few days before police found him. She also said she was keeping the body around because he wanted to be eaten by birds.

“He wanted me to open the door so the birds could come in but the birds only got as far as the air conditioner," she said.

She specified to The Indy Channel that his desire was to be part of an Indian ritual involving vultures consuming a person’s corpse.

Authorities, however, believe her real motivation was to collect and cash in her husband’s social security and pension checks. She’s now facing multiple felony theft and welfare fraud charges, as well as a charge of failure to report a dead body.

A June investigation by the Journal & Courier found that official records state Solomon was married three times before her marriage to Gavan. The records also suggest that two of those marriages ended in the man’s death. Solomon told the paper that the records are incorrect, and that she was only married one time prior to Gavan.

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