Just when you think the news cycle can’t get any crazier, an Indiana couple that thought they adopted a 6-year-old orphan from Ukraine is finally speaking out after discovering she was a psychotic adult hell-bent on their destruction. Sound like an M. Night Shyamalan movie? It should.
Michael Barnett and his wife at the time, Kristine Barnett, adopted a little girl named Natalia in 2010. The couple thought they were getting a child suffering from a rare form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita. Instead, they got a murderous crazy person pretending to be a pre-schooler.
The adoptive father, Michael Barnett, said this for an upcoming documentary on Investigation Discovery via Fox News:
“We were all abused. I hate this.”
“She tried to poison and kill my wife,” Michael Barnett said in the trailer for the documentary, “The Curious Case Of Natalia Grace.” “One night, I opened my eyes and Natalia is standing at the foot of the bed with a knife in her hand.”
In 2012, the unwitting couple went to court to legally change the imposter’s birth year from 2003 to 1989, which was granted and changed her age from 8 years old to 22. The couple then fled to Canada, thinking the nightmare was over. It wasn’t.
Inside the Bizarre Tale of Natalia Grace, Adopted from Ukraine: Is She a Child or an Adult 'Sociopath?' pic.twitter.com/yY5tAtY8h5
— People (@people) May 1, 2023
"*" indicates required fields
In 2013, the grown woman, Natalia, was found living alone in an apartment in Lafayette, Indiana. So, what is the issue? The couple had her birthdate legally changed. That should have been fine, but authorities, for some reason, ignored what the court ordered and subsequently arrested the couple on charges of neglect of a dependent, even though she was no longer a dependent.
In an interview with the Daily Mail in 2019, Kristine Barnett, who has since divorced her husband, said this:
“Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth,” she added in the interview. “She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism. The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults.”
It was only recently that authorities in Indiana untangled this messy tale. Michael Barnett was found not guilty by a jury in 2022, and Kristine Barnett had her charges dismissed in March of this year.
After basically a decade of dealing with an imposter pretending to be a child, trying to harm their family, the Barnetts were the ones treated like criminals. Both parents had previously said that the charges were bogus, claiming Natalia was an adult and not a neglected child, but despite the change of legal birthdate, authorities proceeded with charges. Fox concluded:
The three-part series will reportedly feature “bombshell interviews with members of Natalia’s adoptive family,” such as Michael Barnett and his son, Jacob Barnett, as well as legal experts, friends, and neighbors.
For fans of investigative documentaries and unusual stories, this will be must-see television. As crazy as the story sounds, apparently, it is all true, and the story is not to be missed. Perhaps this can serve as a cautionary tale moving forward. if you are adopting an orphan, make sure she isn’t your age and just running a murderous scam. Maybe ask for some identification.
Featured image screen shot from embedded Tweet