Kelly Gant, 41, was arrested Friday for the 2017 death of her daughter Olivia, 7
A Colorado mother who claimed her seven-year-old daughter suffered from several illnesses has been charged with her murder.
Kelly Gant, 41, was arrested on Friday, October 18, for the 2017 death of her daughter Olivia Gant, who she claimed was diagnosed with a rare and fatal disease, suffered from seizures, autism, severe allergies, and intestinal failure.
But an indictment filed Thursday claims that at least five of Olivia’s doctors did not believe that her medical problems were terminal, while some even doubted her initial diagnoses.
The indictment claims that Gant, also known as Kelly Renee Turner, withdrew all of Olivia’s medical care, arguing that the humane thing to do was to stop care and allow her daughter to die because her quality of life was so poor.
Olivia died a few weeks later in August 2017 and her cause of death was determined to be intestinal failure.
But according to the indictment obtained by 9Wants to Know, her body was exhumed in November 2018 and a forensic pathologist found no evidence of intestinal failure or ‘many of the conditions’ that Gant claimed Olivia had been diagnosed with.
News of Olivia’s illness gained the sympathy of multiple charity organizations and was the ‘Bat Princess’ for a day, a Denver cop and spent the day as a firefighter as one of her final wishes
Gant claimed her daughter Olivia Gant suffered from a laundry list of illnesses, including some terminal, and withdrew her medical care leading up to her death
An indictment claimed Gant argued that the humane thing to do was to stop care and allow her daughter to die because her quality of life was so poor
Olivia’s death became suspicious after her sister, now 11, reportedly fell ill with cancer.
The sister was first treated in 2013 in Colorado, but in 2018 she started to see a new doctor who grew suspicious after Gant claimed her daughter had undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatment for three years in Texas.
The doctor called physicians and hospitals in Texas and learned the girl was never diagnosed with cancer.
In addition to murder, Gant has been charged with defrauding the Medicaid system of more than $538,000 and ripping off the Make-a-Wish Foundation and several other charities that helped Olivia live out her dreams in the last few months of her life.
News of Olivia’s illness gained the sympathy of multiple charity organizations and fundraising platforms, including a GoFundMe page which raised $22,000, a bake sale that was held for her and a night for the Gant Girls at Chick-Fil-A.
Olivia was the ‘Bat Princess’ for a day, a Denver cop and spent the day as a firefighter as one of her final wishes.
At the time, Gant told 9News: ‘She’s in intestinal failure, and we don’t know how much longer she has. And so we made a bucket list, and one of her things was to become a firefighter.’
‘The outpouring of support that our little community has given, you just can never repay that,’ she said. ‘You just take it one day at a time and we’re thankful for what we have.’
Gant created the GoFundMe page in 2015 and updated it regularly with news of Olivia’s ‘illnesses’.
There she claimed that Olivia started having medical issues at nine months old and as of November 2014, had ‘endured numerous hospital stays, surgeries, treatments, invasive testing just to sustain living.’
Gant created a GoFundMe page for Olivia in 2015 which raised more than $22,000
Dr Kristen Park told investigators that she found no evidence that Olivia ever had seizures and said she told her mother three separate times to stop giving her daughter an anti-seizure medication
‘A few months ago, Olivia added a new diagnosis to her already long list. Which includes hydrocephalus, autism, seizure disorder, motility issues, sensory processing disorder, AV vascular malformation, focal cortico dysplasia, tumor on the paratiod gland and developmental delays,’ Gant wrote.
‘This diagnosis however doesn’t come with a cure, with treatments to prevent or a promise of life. This diagnosis Neurogastrointestinal Encephalomyopathy.’
Two day’s after Olivia’s death, Gant posted: ‘August 20th, 2017 will be a day of utter JOY for me. Ive seen all the numerous posts on facebook of everyone saddened and heartbroken over the loss of sweet livi and all day I have wondered why?
‘I couldnt help it, I took a picture at 736pm and she took her last breath at 740pm. There were tears but only for a moment…The Dr was called, other workers to let them know she had passed. Within about 30 minutes staff members were showing up to hug us, love us, cry but mostly tell of how she touched them.’
One of Olivia’s ‘bucket list’ wishes was to be a police officer for the day, so before she died cops took her on a patrol
Gant has been charged with defrauding the Medicaid system of more than $538,000 and ripping off the Make-a-Wish Foundation and several charities
But according to the indictment, several of Olivia’s doctors at the Children’s Hospital Colrado were skeptical of her medical issues and doubted they were terminal.
One of Olivia’s physicians, Dr Robert Kramer, said he was ‘shocked’ to learn that Gant had withdrawn medical care and that Olivia had died, according to the indictment.
He described Olivia as ‘social and very talkative’ and said he never diagnosed her with any of the diseases Gant described on the GoFundMe page.
Another of her physicians, Dr Kristen Park, told investigators that she found no evidence that Olivia ever had seizures and said she told her mother three separate times to stop giving her daughter an anti-seizure medication that had serious side effects.
Other doctors doubted Olivia even had autism.
Dr Thomas Walk told investigators that she ‘did not exhibit the symptoms [her mother]described most of the time,’ and described Olivia as ‘very active, interactive, social and fun to be around.’
Dr Jaime Belkind-Gerson had a similar assessment of Olivia, describing her to investigators as ‘always smiling and playful.’
Olivia’s cause of death was determined as intestinal failure, but her body was exhumed and a forensic pathologist found no evidence of intestinal failure
Gant denied any wrongdoing during questioning but mentioned the psychological disorder ‘Munchausen syndrome by proxy,’ where parents or caregivers seek attention as a result of the illness of someone in their care
One of Olivia’s physicians, Dr Robert Kramer, said he was ‘shocked’ to learn that Gant had withdrawn medical care and that Olivia had died, according to the indictment
Gant denied any wrongdoing when she was questioned by investigators about her daughter by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, but according to the indictment, she mentioned the psychological disorder ‘Munchausen syndrome by proxy,’ where parents or caregivers seek attention as a result of the illness of someone in their care.
Kelly Gant indicted on 13 separate charges in 2017 death of her daughter Olivia
- Two counts of first-degree murder:
- One count of child abuse:
- Three counts of theft: one alleging she defrauded Medicaid and/or HealthFirst Colorado of an estimated $538,991.67; another alleging she used deception to obtain cash and services of $22,700 from GoFundMe, $11,264.88 from Make-a-Wish Foundation, and $3,000 from Professional Miracles Foundation; and one alleging that she stiffed Heflebower Funeral Home for $425 and Seven Stones Cemetery for $4,973
- Three counts of charitable fraud: each alleging that she ‘devised or executed a scheme’ to solicit money, property, or services ‘by means of a false or fraudulent pretense, representation, or promise …’
- Two counts of attempting to influence a public servant
- Two counts of forgery
This disorder was made popular by the Gypsy Rose Blanchard case – which has been turned into several films and TV shows – in which her Dee Dee Blanchard claimed her daughter Gypsy Rose suffered from leukemia and kept her confined to a wheelchair, despite not actually being ill.
Gant said during questioning: ‘That has never been my case, like at all, whatsoever. You can talk to anyone that stood by my side through … all of this.’
The indictment points out that Gant was the one who raised the subject of Munchausen syndrome as it was never mentioned by detectives during questioning.
Gant was indicted on 13 separate charges in the death of Olivia and the mistreatment of her other daughter.
‘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.
Gant is being held without bond and is scheduled to appear in court on November 1.