Adopted 'child' who turned out to be 22-year-old woman would 'urinate and defecate' on brother
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The adopted ‘child’ who turned out to be a 22-year-old woman would ‘urinate and defecate’ on her brother, her adoptive father has claimed in an explosive new documentary.
Kristine and Michael Barnett were convinced they’d adopted a six-year-old Ukrainian girl when they welcomed Natalia Grace - who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal - into their lives back in 2010.
However, within hours of the adoption, they began to pick up on strange signs that not everything was as it seemed with their daughter, with the Barnetts later saying she was secretly an adult attempting to harm their family.
The wild story is now being explored in a new six-part Investigation Discovery documentary, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, which features interviews with family members, former neighbors and friends.
In the first episode, Michael opens up about the ‘abject horror’ the family was subjected to by Natalia, claiming she would torment his sons.
Jacob, one of Michael and Kristine’s biological children, admits there was a ‘lack of trust’ between them and Natalia, saying: “Natalia did have behavioral issues.
“[…] The adoption process must be traumatic - I mean, abandonment issues are a thing, and Natalia was abandoned multiple times because she was with another family in America before she came to us.”
Michael says Natalia had been with them for four months when they started to witness her ‘dark side’.
He recalls: “We had a 2007 Jeep Commander, with three rows of seats. But Natalia always tried to sit next to my youngest, the smallest - my six-year-old Ethan.
“And she would do whatever she could to upset him. She would purposely wait until she was next to him in the car and then she would do her best to urinate on him, she would defecate in the car and put her hand in it and try to smear it on Ethan.”
Jacob adds that it was a ‘frequent occurrence for Natalia to soil surfaces that she wasn’t supposed to’.
A home video shows Kristine scolding Natalia for ‘bothering’ her son Ethan by ‘farting’ on him repeatedly in the car.
Michael continues: “That was the life my six-year-old son had. To get into the car, was like going through the haunted house.
“Another thing, if we went someplace in public, she made eye contact with somebody. And we’d climb into the car, she would get into the car, she’d get in her seat, she’d close the door.
“As soon as I would start to get into my seat, and the car would get into gear, doors open and she’s throwing herself out of the vehicle so people around her can see.
“The idea: ‘Look, a poor helpless little girl’. She was trying to get back to poor helpless little girl status.
“She was doing as many things as possible she could to cause hurt or harm or mental distress to the entire family.
“She’s been with us for about five or six months at this point, and at this time my boys are six, nine and 11.
“Natalia would find things that were important to them, like a HotWheel car, she'd hide them, she’d wait to be crossing the street, she’d thrown them in the street and make sure the boys saw it.
“She was baiting my kids to run into the traffic so they’d get run over.
“I can’t put into words the everyday abject horror that we had to go through and live with.”
Later in the series, Jacob claims his mother came up with a ‘solution’ to punish Natalia.
Reiterating that Natalia used to ‘soil’ herself in ‘places where she shouldn’t’, including on blankets or on furniture like couches or beds, he explains how whatever Kristine had tried to do to address the situation ‘wasn’t working’.
“So one solution my mom came up with was for me to urinate in Natalia’s bed,” he says, clearly upset.
“I remember feeling anger while I was doing it. Experiencing a thought like, ‘Oh, this will show her’.
When asked how he feels about it now, Jacob says: “I had performed this action of urinating in Natalias’s bed, and to this day, I feel horrible that I actually did that. It’s on of those things that actually keeps me up at night.
“Like, I kind of feel like a Nazi following orders, in a way. So there’s definitely guilt. I don’t think Natalia was treated fairly.”
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace continues to air for consecutive nights on Investigation Discovery until 31 May.