Colorado woman accused of killing young daughter after portraying her as terminally ill
CBS 4 Denver
GLENDALE, Colo. (CBS4) — A mother who said her young daughter was diagnosed with a terminal illness is now accused of being responsible for the death the 7-year-old girl. Kelly Renee Turner, 41, also known as Kelly Gant, was arrested Friday at a Denver-area hotel and is being held without bond in the Douglas County Jail in the 2017 death of Olivia Gant.
Turner said Olivia was diagnosed with neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy, a disease that attacks many of the body’s vital organs. In 2017, the Make-A-Wish Foundation and DaVita Inc., a dialysis company in Denver, helped Olivia live out her fantasy — dressing up as “Bat Princess” to battle Ursula and Captain Hook to save the Disney princesses Bella and Ariel.
At the time, Olivia’s mom told CBS4 the showdown was delayed several times due to unexpected medical emergencies.
A GoFundMe account set up for Olivia by Turner in 2015 raised more than $22,000.
“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,” the GoFundMe page states.
The girl’s body was exhumed from Seven Stones Cemetery in Littleton as part of the investigation into her death. No cause of death has been determined by authorities.
Rebecca Holm, a spokeswoman for the cemetery told CBS4, “We have been doing all we can to help bring justice for Olivia.”
Turner was indicted by a grand jury on two first-degree murder charges and child abuse — as well as multiple counts of theft, charitable fraud, attempt to influence a public servant and forgery. The hotel she was arrested at is located in Glendale.
Olivia was reportedly placed in a hospice and died in 2017. After that, Children’s Hospital Colorado doctors expressed alarm to human services employees about the nature of the death and events that led up to it.
“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,” stated Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock.
Turner is also accused of stealing a half million dollars from Medicaid and others.
“What happened to us pales in comparisons to what happened to Olivia. We just want to see justice for her,” Holm said.
Make-A-Wish Colorado responded to CBS4’s request for comment on the case, saying:
“We are deeply disturbed by the allegations in this case and intend to follow it closely in the hope of learning exactly what happened. 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.”