A mother from Colorado who received media coverage along with thousands of dollars of donations after her daughters was allegedly diagnosed with a terminal illness has now been charged with the girl’s murder.
Kelly Renee Turner, 41, was arrested mid-October after two years of her daughter, 7-year-old Olivia Gant, died from what authorities thought to be at the time, natural medical causes.
But in a new grand jury indictment revealed last Monday, it is alleged that Turner actually caused Gant’s death. The indictment states 13 total charges against the 41-year-old, which includes first-degree murder, child abuse, theft and charitable fraud.
Olivia was born in 2010 and began receiving a variety of treatments for multiple ailments at Children’s Hospital Colorado in 2013.
But multiple doctors at the hospital informed investigators that the girl did not have a terminal illness.
That being said, Turner claimed her daughter was dying and the family received $11,000 in donations from the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which donates gifts and experiences to critically ill children.
In addition, she received over $22,000 in donations from a GoFundMe campaign, called “Peace 4 Olivia,” which the company has since banned from its site.
A spokesperson for GoFundMe revealed to KMGH-TV how the company is in the process of generating refunds to donors.
“We are deeply disturbed by the allegations in this case and intend to follow it closely in the hope of learning exactly what happened,” Sarah Murphy, a Make-A-Wish Colorado spokesperson, shared in a statement on this past Monday.
In addition, Turner is also accused of defrauding Medicaid as well as HealthFirst Colorado of over $500,000 over several years, in addition to the funeral home and the cemetery where Olivia was buried of additional costs.
“Us being a victim of theft is so minor compared to what happened to her daughter that it’s irrelevant,” says director of customer care at Seven Stones Cemetery, Rebecca Holm.
Last year, NBC reported on the investigation into Olivia’s death after Turner brought her older daughter into the hospital with “bone pain.”
Turner also spontaneously brought up Munchausen syndrome — a psychological disorder in which caregivers seek attention for the illnesses of people they look after, even sometimes causing those illnesses themselves — in an interview with investigators.
“That has never been my case, like at all, whatsoever,” Turner revealed in the interview.
Investigators decided to separate Turner from her daughter to see if she would continue to report injuries and illnesses. The girl (who is now 11) has since reported zero serious issues since the two were separated last October.
Turner faces three counts of charitable fraud and is currently being held without bond at the Douglas County Detention Facility.