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Colorado mom who abused 7-year-old to death faces sentencing

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Posted at 5:20 AM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 14:26:47-05

DENVER (AP) — A Colorado mother will be sentenced Wednesday after authorities say she duped doctors about her 7-year-old daughter’s health, leading to unnecessary surgeries and medications.

Kelly Turner pleaded guilty in January to negligent child abuse, charitable fraud and theft between $100,000 and $1 million.

She was initially charged in October 2019 with two counts of first-degree murder, among several other charges, in the August 2017 death of her 7-year-old daughter, Olivia Gant.

Psychiatrists say Turner’s behavior seems consistent with the psychological disorder Munchausen syndrome by proxy.

Parents or caregivers with the disorder seek attention from the illness of their children or dependents and sometimes cause them injuries that require attention.

Denver 7 profiled Olivia Gant in April of 2017 as she was fulfilling a "bucket list" which included busting bad guys with Denver police officers. She was made honorary chief for a day and rode along with officers. She died about four months later.

Her body was exhumed in November of 2018 so an autopsy could be performed. According to an indictment, Arapahoe County Coroner Dr. Kelly Lear wrote that Olivia’s manner of death was undetermined based on a series of nonspecific results.

She said that there was a lack of any findings that proved Olivia's death was caused by intestinal failure or any of the other illnesses that her mother claimed she was suffering from.