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Colorado Mom Charged With Murder After Faking 7-Year-Old Daughter's 'Terminal Illness'

Colorado Mom Charged With Murder After Faking 7-Year-Old Daughter's 'Terminal Illness'

The Denver, CO, mother who claimed her 7-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a terminal illness was accused of her child's murder.

Kelly Renee Turner, a.k.a. Kelly Gant, was arrested on Friday in a hotel in Glendale and is being held without bond.

The 41-year-old claimed her daughter, Olivia Gant, was suffering from neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy—a condition in which the vital organs inside the body is under attack.

Olivia was placed in hospice care and died on August 20, 2017.

A GoFundMe account was set up in 2015 in Olivia's name and raised $22,000, but after news of Turner's charges came to surface, a spokesperson said the webpage "will process refunds for any donors as we work with law enforcement officials."

Turner claimed Olivia was born prematurely and was suffering from a myriad of health problems, including autism, seizure disorder, developmental delays and a tumor.

Turner's now-banned campaign's description read:

"We are hoping for support both financially, spiritually, and emotionally. Not only will this be a taxing time for Kelly (mom), and Olivia but for Olivia's sisters and the friends and family who are willing to step in and help during this time."

Before Olivia's death in August 2017, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and DaVita Inc.—a Denver-based dialysis company—made her dreams come true by dressing up as "Bat Princess" to rescue princesses Belle and Ariel from the evil clutches of Ursula and Captain Hook.

According to CBS4, a grand jury indicted Turner on 13 counts, including first degree murder, second-degree forgery, child abuse, multiple counts of theft and attempts at charitable fraud.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock issued a statement after Children's Hospital Colorado doctors learned the shocking truth about Olivia's condition and alerted human services employees about the events leading up to her death.

"I am extremely proud and impressed with the determination of all agencies involved, especially my detectives. While it has been an extremely emotional case, they have investigated all aspects of it with diligence and professionalism."

Rebecca Holm, a spokeswoman for the Seven Stones Cemetery where Olivia's body was exhumed as part of an investigation, is fully cooperating.

"We have been doing all we can to help bring justice for Olivia."
"What happened to us pales in comparisons to what happened to Olivia. We just want to see justice for her."

The investigation of Turner was launched after a primary care doctor learned that Turner falsely diagnosed her other child, an 11-year-old, with having cancer.

The suspicion led to a Jefferson County Human Services report referring to the death of Turner's youngest daughter in 2017, implying that the mother "may have been benefiting" from extensive media coverage.

Buzzfeed News said the Jefferson County report expressed concern that Turner:

"lied about the children's medical conditions and therefore may have caused harm to the children and or caused them to have significant medical procedures."

Make-A-Wish told the news outlet they were "deeply disturbed by the allegations" and described their protocol in responding to requests to help an ailing child's dream to become a reality.

"Our procedures for granting a wish require a referral from the child's medical team, and we rely on their assessment."
"As we seek to learn more about the circumstances that led to Olivia's death, we fondly remember her spirit and hope that granting her wish brought some joy to her tragic life."

Buzzfeed also reported that Turner convinced a doctor to sign a "do not resuscitate" directive for Olivia and requested health officials to withdraw medical care, including Olivia's total parenteral nutrition (TPN) line.

In a 2018 interview with a detective, Turner denied allegations pertaining to Olivia's death and even said she was not guilty of Manchausen by proxy—a form of abuse and a mental condition in which a caregiver fabricates an illness and harms the vulnerable victim to gain attention and sympathy.

Turner is expected to appear in court on November 1.

The true crime novel My Sweet Angel: The True Story of Lacey Spears, the Seemingly Perfect Mother Who Murdered Her Son in Cold Blood is available here.

"Mommy blogger Lacey Spears made headlines when she was charged with the murder of her five-year-old son, Garnett."
"To the outside world Lacey had seemed like a loving, concerned mother, regularly posting updates on social media about her son's harrowing medical problems. But in reality, Lacey was a textbook case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy."
"From the time he was an infant, Lacey deliberately made Garnett sick to elicit sympathy from medical professionals as well as her hundreds of followers on Facebook, Twitter, and her own blog."


Have you listened to the first season of George Takei's podcast, 'Oh Myyy Pod!'?

In season one we explored the racially charged videos that have taken the internet by storm.

We're hard at work on season two so be sure to subscribe here so you don't miss it when it goes live.

Here's one of our favorite episodes from season one. Enjoy!