In something that sounds like it’s come straight out of a horror novel, a mom from Indiana has claimed that her 9-year-old adopted daughter, Natalia, who came from Ukraine was, in fact, a twenty-two-year-old sociopath who had murderous intentions.
Though her discovery actually happened back in 2013, the story resurfaced after Kristine Bennett and her ex-husband were arrested for child abandonment… Even though Natalia had been proven to be an adult.
And now, Natalia’s birth mom has spoken out and has made some bold claims that could turn the whole story upside down. Keep scrolling to hear what she’s had to say on the matter of her rogue daughter…
A couple from Indiana simply wanted to extend their family. Kristine Barnett and her now ex-husband Michael Barnett adopted Natalia – a 6-year-old girl from Ukraine – back in 2010.
Kristine and Michael were hailed as “exemplary” parents who raised a “child genius.”
Jake was diagnosed with autism at the age of 2, but he had his first academic paper published at the age of twelve and by fifteen, he was studying at a prestigious physics institute.
In an interview with Daily Mail TV, Kristine insisted that she treated Natalia as if she were her own.
“I always wanted to have a larger family and I had very severe complications in my pregnancies and was unable to have more children,” she explained.
Few details were given in regards to Natalia’s background: All that was known about the girl was that she had been in the U.S. for 2 years, had a Ukrainian birth certificate reading September 4th, 2003, and needed a home immediately because her previous adoptive parents suddenly gave her up – for undisclosed reasons.
“Out of compassion for their situation I didn’t want to press them for information on what had gone wrong,” Kristina went on to say.
“Natalia was extremely nervous. You could see she was going to need a lot of support and care. We did notice immediately in the parking lot that she couldn’t walk. There was nothing in the paperwork stating that.”
She got up and ran into the ocean, after claiming for weeks that she couldn’t walk.
“With that, she just got up and ran into the ocean. I remember looking at Mike and thinking, what’s going on? She couldn’t walk a second ago and now she just got up and ran,” Kristine recalled.
“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 6-year-old and it was very apparent she wasn’t,” she added.
Natalia also shunned toys and dolls, sought the company of teenage girls, and began to use very sophisticated vocabulary that was much too advanced for a child of her supposed age.
“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,'” Kristina recalled in horror.
More and more evidence built to suggest Natalia wasn’t at all a child…
Kristina soon began finding bloody clothing in the trash, which suggested that Natalia was having periods and was trying to conceal the evidence – again, extremely rare for a 6-year-old.
Her behavior took a turn for the worst.
She began mocking the “childish” bonding exercises that they would regularly take part in, and her mental health began to deteriorate. In 2011, Kristina recalls Natalia smearing bodily fluids on the walls, making death threats, and claiming to hear voices.
In 2012, during a therapy session, Natalia claimed that she was eighteen-years-old and it was found that she was an adult who suffered from dwarfism, which explained her unusually small posture.
Later that year, the staff at Larue Carter Hospital in Indianapolis described how Natalia spoke about wanting to kill her entire family with previous attempts and showed absolutely no remorse.
A letter from the Barnetts’ primary care physician, Andrew McLaren MD, in 2012, says that Natalia’s 2003 birth date was clearly inaccurate and that Natalia had made a career out of pretending to be a young child.
He also said Natalia fooled him, her parents, and other physicians.
This meant that Natalia would legally be an adult and would take responsibility for herself.
In documents seen by DailyMailTV, Judge Gerald S. Zore accepted the couple’s allegations were “true” and revised Natalia’s date of birth to September 4th, 1989 – changing her age from 8 to twenty-two.
She was placed under the supervision of state healthcare provider, Aspire, Indiana, who helped her get a social security number, apply for benefits, food stamps, and an ID.
But she began causing trouble and was evicted from the property, despite the Barnetts staying in constant contact with her and giving her financial support.
However, Kristina insisted that Natalia stopped returning their calls and “vanished.”
Last week, Kristina and Michael Barnett were charged with two counts of neglect of a dependent, the New York Post reported.
And they were each released on a $5,000 bail.
Speaking about the ordeal, Kristine said: “‘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.”
“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,” Kristina said tearfully.
“The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults.”
Where you can hear the grizzly details of the adoption.
After the Barnetts fled to Canada in 2013, Natalia gradually stopped replying to their calls and messages, and they were left wondering where she was and what she could possibly be doing.
She feared Natalia had stopped taking her medication and was probably posing as a child again for another unsuspecting family.
“I had found a little pink dress in her closet and a little pink bicycle parked beside her house, and I would have forced her back into treatment but I couldn’t do that any longer because she was an adult.”
And it appeared that Natalia may have been adopted by a different family.
How on Earth has an adult got away with posing as a child for so long? And how has she manipulated yet another family?
The Daily Mail has claimed that Natalia has found a new home with a Christian couple from Indiana and their 5 other children.
Natalia’s new father figure, thirty-six-year-old Antwon Mans, was recently ordained as a pastor and lives in a former church parsonage with his wife Cynthia, thirty-nine.
And the devout couple are apparently aware of the questions swirling around the true age of their Ukrainian ‘daughter,’ who is barely taller than a toddler because of the bone disorder, spondyloepimetaphyseal dysplasia.
They are seemingly in the belief that Natalia is very much a child, with photos of her in children’s clothes being posted on their social media accounts.
And insists that the Mans are simply “good samaritans” who came across an “abandoned child” and just wanted to help.
“The Mans care for Natalia and she likes being there,” said the friend. “There’s nothing crazy going on or anything. These are good people.”
“They’ve [The Mans] already tried to speak to Natalia’s adopted parents and tried to go through the courts,” added the friend. “They are just not getting anywhere and now this is escalating.”
“She is just in a really awkward position and they are trying to help her out. There are actually very limited things they can do for her because people are saying she’s thirty. She can’t even go to high school.”
“They just so happened to come across this person that was not being treated right and cared enough to put in the effort to make sure something was done about it.” Their friend continued, “If it’s true that her parents had abandoned her, it’s horrible.”
“I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist but I’ve spoken with Natalia and I believe her. If you’re asking me if I think she is 30, that’s ridiculous,” the family friend concluded.
“Natalia was living on her own and the couple wanted to become her guardians. Thinking she was still a child, the couple tried to overturn the 2012 result,” their attorney told Daily Mail.
“This time the hearing was even more in-depth, not only did the judge look at medical reports and other documents, but witnesses came before the court to explain why they were certain Natalia had been twenty-two.”
“The judge upheld the original results and the couple dropped the guardianship petition.”
The Mans did indeed withdraw their bid for guardianship in January 2018 and it was dismissed without prejudice.
When approached this week outside their rented four-bed home an hour from Indianapolis, Antwon Mans refused to discuss Natalia’s case with Daily Mail.
Cynthia Mans asked the reporter to leave the property, adding “We don’t have anything to comment on.”
The question still stands… What’s happened to her birth family?
And her birth mom has now been tracked down.
And has also insisted that she isn’t a murderous sociopath.
Not 6. Not twenty-two. Sixteen.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, who originally tracked her down, she said: “I know exactly how old she is. This girl is my daughter who was born sixteen years ago. Doctors told me to leave the baby. ‘Leave her, don’t ruin your life’, they said. Both them and my mom told me to leave her.”
But is heartbroken by the news, saying that she was forced into giving her up.
Wiping away tears, she made a heartfelt plea to Natalia herself, “Daughter, forgive me for what happened 16 years ago. Visit soon for me to see you. We are waiting for you. You have 2 sisters and 2 brothers.”