Mum Claims Adopted Nine-Year-Old Child Was Actually 22 And Tried To Kill Her
A mum of three who is accused of felony neglect for abandoning her adopted daughter claims that nine-year-old Natalia was - in fact - a 22-year-old sociopath who has made several attempts to kill her.
Right, there's a lot to unpack there. Let's start at the very beginning.
Kristine Barnett, who has actually written books about parenting, and her then-husband Michael adopted Ukranian-born Natalia in May 2010. They stand accused of leaving her in a flat in Lafayette, Indiana, in 2013 before fleeing to Canada around a week later.
In the case against the Barnetts, police claimed the pair left their adoptive daughter to look after herself for three years despite the fact that she is only three feet tall as a result of a rare form of dwarfism that also gives her trouble walking.
However, the 45-year-old mum claims she and her family are actually the victims in this case, as she claims Natalia's documents are false and she was actually 22 at the time.
Oh, and they claim she threatened to stab the family in their sleep, tried to poison them with bleach, and shoved Kristine towards an electric fence.
There's still a lot going on here.
Kristine told the Daily Mail: "She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard.
"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.'
"The media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here."
Kristine continued: "Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. 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.
More Like ThisMore Like This
"She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing."
Kristine, who has previously been hailed as a great parent to her prodigiously intelligent autistic biological child Jake, said she accepted Natalia as a full member of the family.
They picked Natalia up at an adoption clinic in Florida, but didn't press authorities for why she didn't have much documentation for compassionate reasons.
Then, they started to notice things.
Kristine explained: "I was giving her a bath and I noticed that she had full pubic hair. I was so shocked. I had just been told she was a six-year-old and it was very apparent she wasn't."
They started to suspect that things weren't as they seemed. Then, after their doctor performed bone density tests, it became obvious Natalia was at least 14.
Natalia's mental health deteriorated to such a point that she was deemed a risk to others and placed in a psychiatric hospital. There, she allegedly confessed to being older, as well as describing - with no hint of remorse - trying to kill family members.
A judge eventually corrected her birth year to 1989 so that she could get adult care. The Barnetts put her up in a flat, helped her get ID, benefits and even offered to send her to college.
However, the family moved to Canada and Natalia started to pose as a child again. Eventually, the police charged the pair - who divorced in 2014 - with felony neglect.
A judge has also ordered a fresh hearing into Natalia's age after a couple asked to formally adopt her. The Barnetts have objected because - they believe - Natalia could be as old as 30 now.
Kristine said: "I have been cooperative the whole time. I have been truthful with people the whole time.
"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.
"From day one this was a mission of love. But when you bring a child into your home, you expect them to be a child.
"To be accused of this is a unconscionable to me. It's just horrifying."
Featured Image Credit: Kristine Barnett