Kristine Barnett, 45, and her ex-husband Michael Barnett, 43, are being charged with abandoning their nine-year-old adopted daughter. They claim, however, that the girl was actually a 22-year-old adopted sociopath that tried killing them on multiple occasions according to The Daily Mail.
Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace was adopted in Florida in May 2010 and the charges state that they abandoned her at an Indiana apartment in 2013 and then moved to Canada.
According to police reports, the nine-year-old girl was abandoned after the parents found out she would only grow to 3 feet tall because of a rare form of dwarfism. Kristine Barnett gave an interview with The Daily Mail and stated that Natalia was actually 22 years old in 2010 when they adopted her. Kristine said they got suspicious after she had her menstrual cycle and was using an adult vocabulary. She also said that Natalia threatened to kill them in their sleep and tried to push her into an electric fence.
The adopted parents are considered role models for raising a child genius, Jake Barnett. At the age of two, Jake was diagnosed with autism but he went on to be admitted at a reputable physics institute by the time he was 15 years old. They also went on 60 Minutes to discuss Jake. In that video, you can see Natalia sitting at the table.
Kristine is upset that the allegations of abandonment have tarnished their good name. She said that it all eventually became obvious that Natalia was actually an adult masquerading as a child. “The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here. Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth,” said Kristine. She also claims that Natalia would jump from moving cars.
Kristine feels that there are many parallels between the movie Orphan and her personal experience. “She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members. She was standing over people in the middle of the night. You couldn’t go to sleep. We had to hide all the sharp objects. I saw her putting chemicals, bleach, Windex something like that, in my coffee and I asked her, what are you doing? She said, “I am trying to poison you.”
“I felt that if I had the ability to help another person in the world then I wanted to do it,” said Kristine, when she thought about her decision to adopt Natalia. “I always wanted to have a larger family and I had very severe complications in my pregnancies and was unable to have more children,’ said Barnett. “I also at that time had a very privileged life.” Kristine was told Natalia was born in Ukraine on September 4, 2003, and had lived in the United States for two years. Another couple had adopted Natalia prior to the Barnett’s but returned her for “undisclosed reasons”. Kristine didn’t think much about it. “‘Out of compassion for their situation I didn’t want to press them for information on what had gone wrong,’ said Kristine.
Natalia was welcomed into the family and given a lot of love but they soon came to suspect she was older than nine years old. When Kristine said she saw the girl naked for the first time, she was shocked. ‘I was giving her a bath and I noticed that she had full pubic hair. I was so shocked,” said Kristine. She also said that Natalia would rather be with teenage girls instead of playing with dolls. A mental health specialist had checked her out and said she was an adult. In 2010, Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis ruled that she was born in 1989.
They proceeded to rent an apartment for her and she was placed under the supervision of Aspire Indiana, a state health care provider. ‘I said I’ve been taking care of you here as an adult, I will do one more year of financial aid, the exact same thing I am doing for all of my children,’ said Kristine. The couple eventually moved to Canada and didn’t stay in contact with her. Allegedly, Natalia would not respond to their phone calls.
The police are not buying into the story and say that a bone density test for 2010 proved that she was eight years old at the time. Two years later, a similar test showed that she was 11 years old. According to police affidavits, Michael Barnett said he knew she was a minor when they abandoned her. “I have been cooperative the whole time. I have been truthful with people the whole time,’ said Kristine. “I am being charged by the state of Indiana for crimes against a child when the state of Indiana has determined multiple times that Natalia was an adult.”
The couple has surrendered to the police. Michael Barnett is out on $5000 bail and Kristine was granted bail when she posted a $5500 bond.