A Colorado woman who claimed her little girl had a terminal illness was charged with murder on Friday in connection with the child’s death.
CBS Denver reports that Kelly Renee Turner, 41, said that her youngest daughter, Olivia, was diagnosed with neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy. According to the National Institutes of Health, the rare disease attacks body parts, particularly the nervous system and digestive system.
Gant also claimed Olivia was autistic and had seizures, a tumor, a misshapen head, a brain malformation, and developmental delays, according to an arrest affidavit.
Olivia later rode in a police car, fed sharks, and got to play a “fireman” while shooting water at a fire, according to 9News. The little girl gained media attention as she checked off her “bucket list” while battling a supposed terminal illness.
Prosecutors, however, said that behind the scenes, Gant was lying and devising an ominous plan to kill Olivia.
The alleged plan began in 2011, when Gant reportedly starting blogging about Olivia’s supposed medical conditions on her personal blog. Gant wrote that Olivia had a brain malformation that caused seizures. As the months and years passed by, Gant started posting on social media, and each time, she wrote that Olivia’s conditions had worsened.
In 2015, Gant created a GoFundMe account and raised over $22,000. Gant said the money would be used “financially, spiritually, and emotionally” for her family.
In 2017, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and a dialysis company, DaVita Inc., helped Olivia battle Disney villains after dressing her up as the Bat Princess, as part of the little girl’s bucket list.
On August 20, 2017, 7-year-old Olivia passed away, supposedly from intestinal issues, but authorities now say that Tuner is responsible for the little girl’s death.
Olivia was never ill, police said, and she died because her own mother withdrew food and medical care from the little girl after sending her to hospice care with strict orders to not resuscitate.
Gant is also accused of defrauding Medicaid of over $500,000 and making up claims that her oldest daughter had cancer. She’s accused of defrauding Make-A-Wish Foundation of over $11,000 after making false claims about Olivia’s illness.
Gant landed on the radar of detectives after several doctors at the Children’s Hospital Colorado reported that they didn’t think Olivia had the illnesses that her mother kept insisting on.
In 2017, Olivia was admitted to the hospital because she was nutrient deficient. Her sole source of nutrition came from a feeding tube.
Doctors told Turner that her little girl could not survive on IV nutrition. Turner was given the option of taking Olivia home or to hospice care, the indictment against Turner read.
Gant decided to withdraw all medical assistance and nutrition from her daughter, according to authorities.
One of Olivia’s doctors, however, Dr. Robert Kramer, told detectives he was stunned to learn that Gant withdrew nutrition and medical assistance from the little girl since Olivia was not a terminal patient.
“Dr. Kramer said that (Olivia) was not a terminal patient and was ‘shocked’ when he heard that Turner withdrew all medical care and (Olivia) passed away,” the affidavit read.
Dr. Kristen Park reportedly said Olivia showed no signs of having seizures. The doctor told investigators that she advised Turner several times to stop giving Olivia an anti-seizure medication that came with severe side effects.
Doctors’ suspicions heightened when Gant allegedly brought her older daughter in for a checkup in 2018 and claimed the girl had “bone pain.” After the oldest daughter, 11 at the time, was removed from Gant’s care, she said she stopped having pain.
Olivia’s body was exhumed in 2018. An autopsy performed by a forensic pathologist found no physical evidence of the illnesses and conditions that Turner claimed her daughter had. Olivia’s death is now listed as undetermined. Her official cause of death is pending.
Authorities arrested Gant on Friday and charged with a multitude of felonies, including in part, murder, theft, and child abuse. She remains behind bars without bond.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Turner faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.
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[Feature Photo: Olivia Gant/GoFundMe]