Couple says 8-year-old they adopted was actually an adult and tried to kill them

first_imgA couple accused of abandoning their 8-year-old adoptive daughter has pleaded not guilty to the charges after they say the 8-year-old was actually an adult posing as a child and that she tried several times to kill members of the family.The incident occurred back in 2010.Michael and Kristine Barnett who already had three children of their own, decided to adopt Natalia who they believed was an 8-year-old from Ukraine who suffers from a rare form of dwarfism.When the family got Natalia home, however, they say there was signs that Natalia was not who they believed she was and that she was much older than 8-years-old.The family says that the child spoke English and did not have an accent that was consistent with her being from and living in the Ukraine.They also said that Natalia had pubic hair, menstrual cycles, and suffered from mental health disorders that usually develop when a person is in their teens and 20s.In addition to that, the family says Natalia was violent towards them and both threatened and attempted to kill or harm them on several occasions.In an interview with Good Morning America, Michael told reporters that Natalia would put clear thumbtacks on the stairs face up so they would step on them. At another point, she also poured Pine-Sol cleaner into Kristine’s coffee and attempted to push Kristine into an electric fence.Michael also says that Natalia admitted that she was trying to kill Kristine.In 2012, the couple somehow had the girl’s age legally changed to 22-years-old before moving Natalia into her own apartment in Indiana in 2013. The rest of the family moved to Canada so that the couple’s eldest son, a physics prodigy, could study at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario.During the investigation, the Barnett’s told authorities that they paid rent for Natalia’s apartment for a year, set her up with Social Security disability income, and food stamps but did not provide any other care for her.Court records show that Natalia was evicted from the apartment in May of 2014 and in September of that same year, Natalia contacted police and claimed that the Barnett’s abandoned her.The Barnett’s are now facing two counts of neglect of a dependent which they have plead not guilty to.  A jury trial date has been set for Jan. 28, 2020.Prosecutors say that they are positive that if “due justice” is done, the Barnett’s will not be vindicated of their charges. They also brought up that two bone scans done on the girl in 2010 and in 2012 prove that her Ukrainian records were correct and that the couple abandoned the child who was also deemed mentally ill.Other records in 2016 state that when a new family petitioned for guardianship of the girl and attempted to get her original birth record restored, Michael showed up to the hearing with a doctor and a lawyer and that particular judge sided with Michael’s case.Natalia, who is either in her teens or in her 30’s, has not been charged with any crime.While it is unclear where Natalia is currently residing, several news outlets say she remains in the care of the couple who petitioned for guardianship over her in 2016.last_img

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