Mum ‘killed daughter after pretending she had terminal disease to rake in £16k’
A mum has been accused of killing her daughter after pretending she had a rare illness to make money in charitable donations.
It is alleged Kelly Turner, from Colorado in the US, claimed her daughter Olivia Gant suffered a rare and fatal disease, seizures, autism, severe allergies and intestinal failure.
Olivia died in 2017 and it originally thought that she passed away due to her multitude of conditions.
Turner aroused doctors' suspicions by allegedly claiming that her other daughter also had medical problems.
The seven-year-old's death was attributed to intestinal failure but the cause has since been judged to be "undetermined".
Turner has pleaded not guilty to a series of crimes including first-degree murder, child abuse, second-degree forgery and attempt to influence a public servant, according to jail records.
The community rallied around Olivia before her death. A fundraiser was organised in the months before she died so she could tick items off her "bucket list".
Local media reported that she was supposedly suffering from neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy, a rare disease which causes the body to shut down.
Make-A-Wish-Foundation volunteers helped one of the then six-year-old's dreams come true when they dressed up as Disney characters including Ursula and Ariel at the organisation's Denver offices.
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Olivia then marched through the corridors battling them.
At the time Turner said: "You could give me all the money in the world, and I would give it back to you to be able to watch this again."
More than £16,000 was raised for Olivia on a fundraising page which has since been taken offline.
On the page, Turner claimed her daughter started exhibiting symptoms for the condition at just nine months old.
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In November 2014 she wrote that Olivia "endured numerous hospital stays, surgeries, treatments, invasive testing just to sustain living".
According to the indictment, Turner stopped her daughter's medical care in the weeks before her death".
She is said to have argued the humane thing to do was to stop Olivia's care and artificial feeding to allow her to die because the quality of her life was so low.
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One doctor told investigators that the mum insisted that he sign a 'do not resuscitate' order for Olivia.
A few weeks after Turner was given the option of taking her home on hospice care, Olivia died, according to the indictment.
Turner is also accused of defrauding the Medicaid system of more than $538,000 (£397,000), a system that helps pay for medical care for some people in the US on a low income.
The child's body has now been exhumed and an autopsy was carried out, which found no evidence of the illness or others Turner claimed she suffered from.
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