In the most talked-about news this month, and something that sounds like it's come straight out of a horror novel, a mom from Indiana claimed that their 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 last month... Even though Natalia had been proven to be an adult.
The story has been a complete scandal from start to finish, and people are torn at who to believe in the messy family affair.
And now, Natalia's dad has spoken out. Michael Barnett sat down for a live interview with the British breakfast show, This Morning, to deliver a harrowing account of what he experienced after adopting Natalia.
Keep scrolling to hear what he said, and the terrifying stories he had to share...
Let's start from the beginning.
via: Daily MailA 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.
The couple already had a child of their own...
via: CBS NewsKristine 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.
The Barnetts were also very experienced foster parents who ran a child daycare from their home...
via: Kristine BarnettIn 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.
They were told by the adoption agency that Natalia was 6-years-old.
via: Kristine BarnettFew 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.
Why didn't the parents probe further into Natalia's background?
via: Daily Mail
"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.
The couple showered Natalia with attention and love...
via: Kristine Barnett"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."
However, when the couple took Natalia to the beach for the first time...
via: Kristine BarnettShe 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.
Natalia began alarming her new parents even more...
via: Daily Mail"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.
Natalia displayed signs of aggression and a willingness to cause harm to others...
via: Kristina Barnett"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...
via: Kristina BarnettKristina 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.
When the worried couple began to question Natalia...
via: ShutterstockHer 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.
Natalia finally admitted to her being a lot older than 6-years-old...
via: ShutterstockIn 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.
It's a mystery as to how Natalia landed herself in the adoption agency posing as a six-year-old...
via: Kristina BarnettA 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.
In 2012, the Barnetts successfully applied to Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis, Indiana to have Natalia's age "corrected"...
via: ShutterstockThis 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.
Now that Natalia was legally an adult, the Barnetts rented a flat for her to move out into...
via: Kristina BarnettShe 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.
In 2013, the family moved to Canada in order for their son to attend the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Ontario.
via: Kristina BarnettHowever, Kristina insisted that Natalia stopped returning their calls and "vanished."
An investigation has been underway over the last 5 years over the "abandonment" of Natalia...New York Post reported.
Both surrendered to authorities...
The Barnetts believe the charges against them are unfair...
via: Kristina Barnett
"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."
Watch the interview here...Where you can hear the grizzly details of the adoption.
All up to date now?Good, because this story is far from over.
Michael Barnet has spoken out.
via: MetroBarnet has so far remained quiet, while the rest of the world, quite understandably, has been losing its mind over the bizarre story.
But now, he has opened up.
via: MetroHe appeared on the British chat show, This Morning, to finally share his side of the story.
And, as expected...The story was just as creepy from his perspective as it always has been.
He started by explaining how his family felt pressured to adopt the girl.
via: Metro"Out of nowhere, we got a call from an adoption agency in Florida," the father of 3 shared. "[They said] 'We have researched you, we know all about you, if you don’t adopt her in 24 hours, we’re putting her into care.'"
Pressured, Michael and Christine travelled to meet Natalia.
via: MetroBut Michael shared with This Morning viewers that "the alerts started before we got home."
He recalled the moment they noticed Natalia's full pubic hair...
via: MetroAnd shared other stories that signaled the first warning signs about their adoptive daughter. "She used to put thumbtacks straight up on the stairs," Barnett shared. "We would find knives under her bed. I woke up in the middle of the night and [Natalia] was standing over my bed with a knife in her hand."
And he revealed the moment things came to a breaking point.
via: MetroBarnet claimed that Natalia actively tried to harm his 3 sons, when she would collect the things most precious to the boys – a cow toy, toy cars, and homework – and would throw them into traffic whilst the family was crossing the street.
And she verbally threatened them.
via: Metro"Natalia would tell us coldly, 'I’m trying to kill the boys,'" he said. Good lord.