Man who adopted 'child' that turned out to be 22-year-old woman says she threatened to kill his family
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Featured Image Credit: Investigation Discovery
A man who adopted a child that turned out to be a 22-year-old woman says she threatened to kill his family.
Although it may sound like the plot for the 2009 thriller Orphan, Indiana couple Michael and Kristine Barnett experienced a very real and frightening situation after adopting Natalia Grace in 2010, who they thought was a six-year-old Ukrainian girl.
They soon realised that the little girl had ‘periods, adult teeth and pubic hair’ and was more than three times older than the age they thought.
It turned out that Natalia actually had a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia.
Michael has spoken about the family’s unfortunate turn of events, which have been retold in a new documentary titled The Curious Case of Natalia Grace.
In the trailer the dad was filmed crying and punching the floor while saying that the family were ‘all abused’.
The situation at home took a violent turn when Natalia tried to ‘stab’ Michael’s sons, he claims, with one of the boys sharing he had been scared of his adoptive sister.
"She tried to poison and kill my wife,” Michael says in the trailer. “[And] one night, I opened my eyes and Natalia is standing at the foot of the bed with a knife in her hand.”
Previously, in an interview with DailyMailTV, Michael and Kristine alleged Natalia would ‘draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, put bleach in her adoptive mother’s coffee’ and ‘smeared blood on mirrors’.
According to People magazine, Michael and his wife weren’t aware that Natalia was 22-years-old until 2012 - two years after they adopted her.
The couple went to a probate court in Marion County to get her birth date changed from 2003 to 1989, recognising her real age.
In 2013, the family - along with their three biological sons - moved to Canada. They left Natalia in Indiana after getting her an apartment, although they were both charged with neglect for abandoning a child even though they claimed Natalia was not who she said she was and they were victims of fraud.
A legal battle followed and the charges against them were eventually dropped.
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace will start on ID on 29 May.