Mum pretended daughter, 7, was terminally ill to scam thousands from Make-A-Wish

A woman who faked her daughter's illness to scam thousands of dollars from charities and well-wishers has pleaded guilty to causing the child's death.

Seven-year-old Olivia Gant died in hospice care on August 20 2017, after suffering for five years from a complex catalogue of illnesses that prosecutors allege had been deliberately created by her mother Kelly Turner.

In October 2019 Turner was charged with 13 offences including first-degree murder, child abuse, theft, charity fraud, forgery and attempted influence of a public servant.

Now lawyers acting for Turner, 43, have reached a plea deal with the court. She has pleaded guilty to most of the lesser charges, including child abuse negligently causing death, in exchange for the murder charge being dropped.

Turner was expected to face trial in Douglas County District Court at the beginning of February. Earlier this week, Judge Patricia Herron described the plea deal as a "somewhat last-minute turn of events."

“[Doctors) saw Olivia for over 1,000 hospital visits and hospitalisations," family attorney Hollynd Hoskins said.

Detectives learned Turner received more than $538,000 in Medicaid benefits for her daughter’s treatment.

Adding that $11,000 was raised by the Make-A-Wish foundation for a "bat-princess" party, Hoskins says Children's Hospital Colorado also profited for the unnecessary treatments for Olivia.

"They billed over $3 million dollars for treating a healthy child," she said. "They used Olivia to advertise and fundraise for their hospital."

  • Chilling Star Hobson 999 call reveals evil lover's lies after stamping tot to death

More than £16,000 was raised for Olivia on a fundraising page which has since been taken offline.

The story started in 2012, with Turner taking Olivia to the Children’s Hospital Colorado, claiming that the tot was suffering from constipation.

Over the following five years, Olivia was to undergo dozens of unnecessary surgeries and other medical procedures

Olivia's step-grandfather, Lonnie Gautreau described her as a loving child with a great imagination who “loved playing with her dolls”.

He didn’t find out the truth about Olivia’s condition until after she died, a discovery that he says made him “sick to his stomach”.

  • Mum's fury after McDonald's order 'covered in salt' as 'revenge' over complaints

"That put another dagger in my heart thinking when she told me she was hungry, what was she thinking when I didn't do anything," Gautreau told local news channel KOAA.

"Her mother said to take a little popsicle juice on a sponge and put it on her lips and what was she thinking of me not giving her food? That haunts me every single night since I found that she was not terminally ill and wasn't even sick and they tortured her for 5 years. It haunts me every single night."

"We had no reason to believe that what Kelly Turner was telling us wasn't true because she was in the best care she could be under," he added.

One doctor told investigators that Turner asked them to withdraw all medical care and artificial feeding for her daughter “because her quality of life was so bad”.

Turner also insisted on giving Olivia anti-seizure mediation that was causing serious side-effects.

She had asked doctors to sign a “do not resuscitate” order for Olivia, preventing any attempt at saving her in the event of her heart stopping.

The authorities only began investigating Olivia’s death after Turner began to claim her other daughter was also suffering from a mysterious medical condition.

Source: Read Full Article