Mother Who Claimed 7-Year-Old Daughter Was Sick Sentenced To Prison After Girl Dies

“This is a despicable crime,” prosecutor says of Kelly Renee Turner approving “surgery after surgery” for the child.

February 15, 2022
This Oct. 18, 2019, booking photo provided by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office shows Kelly Renee Turner. Turner, a Colorado mother who sought donations to cover medical treatments for her daughter and promoted the girl’s bucket list, has been indicted on a murder charge in the 7-year-old’s death.

Kelly Renee Turner

Photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office via AP Images

Douglas County Sheriff's Office via AP Images

Kelly Renee Turner

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A mother in Colorado recently pleaded guilty to charges of negligent child abuse causing death, theft, and charitable fraud after her 7-year-old daughter died as a result of receiving medical treatment for conditions she didn’t have, prosecutors said.

“This is a despicable crime,” John Kellner, District Attorney for the 18th Judicial District, said in a statement, The New York Times reported. “This defendant deserves to serve years behind bars.”

On Feb. 9, a judge sentenced 43-year-old Kelly Renee Turner to 16 years in prison as part of a plea deal that required prosecutors to drop other charges against her, including first-degree murder.

Kellner said in the statement that Turner “approved surgery after surgery” for her daughter, Olivia Gant, and insisted the child “was not getting better.”

An indictment states that near the end of Gant’s life in August 2017, Turner, who claimed her daughter was terminally sick with illnesses such as a seizure disorder, had her admitted to a hospice for intestinal failure and requested a do-not-resuscitate order, according to KMGH-TV.

The outlet reported that Lonnie Gautreau, believes his stepdaughter, Turner, exhibited signs of Munchausen syndrome by proxy — a mental health condition in which a caregiver causes or makes up a vulnerable person’s injury or illness — and that his granddaughter’s death was avoidable.

“This truth about Olivia has caused such a deep pain that it continues to ravage me every day,” Gautreau said at Turner’s sentencing.

In an interview last year, Turner’s former friend, Ruby King, told KMGH-TV Gant was a “normal” child.

“There was nothing wrong with Olivia except for psoriasis,” King recalled, noting, “And that’s what started the hospital visits.”

Doctors first alerted authorities to a potential problem with Turner after she brought a second daughter to doctors for unnecessary treatments in 2018 — the year following Oliva’s death. Medical records show the teenage girl did not have cancer as Turner claimed at the time.

Following a yearlong investigation, Turner was taken into custody and indicted in 2019 for Gant’s death.

Prosecutors alleged that for a four-year period, Turner made Gant into a “media sensation” and used the child’s purported bad health to scam gifts and money, including over $22,000 from donors via GoFundMe as well as more than $500,000 from Medicaid.