An Indiana father who adopted a six-year-old Ukrainian girl with his wife in 2010, only to believe she was an adult dwarf out to harm them, has claimed she threatened to kill someone in their home.
Michael Barnett says Natalia Grace told him, “I promise you someone will be dead in five years.”
He has spoken out in a new documentary titled The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, which will be released in three parts on Investigation Discovery (ID) starting May 29.
Barnett and his wife, Kristine, petitioned to change Natalia Grace’s birth certificate and a judge agreed in 2012, making her 23 instead of nine.
The Barnetts then rented an apartment for Natalia Grace and fled to Canada with their three biological sons.
Barnett, in the trailer, warned viewers that they would get the “truth” – but adds that they “might not like the truth.”
Michael Barnett adopted a Ukrainian girl they thought was six in 2010. They now believe she was grown. In a new documentary, he claimed their new family member told him, “I promise you, someone will be dead in five years.”
He claimed in the trailer that Natalia Grace is an “adult sociopath pretending to be a kid.”
He is filmed sobbing and slapping the floor, trembling with rage, screaming that they have “all been mistreated.”
“We’ve all been mistreated,” he shouts. ‘I hate this.’
Others in the trailer claim that no one will ever know the truth of the bizarre story.
Michael and his wife Kristine Barnett adopted Natalia on April 26, 2010, believing they were bringing home a six-year-old child.
But things quickly took a turn for the worse when they said she became violent and they suspected she was an adult posing as a child.
They petitioned a probate court to reverse her birth year by 14 years, which was granted in 2012, legally changing the age of the Ukrainian-born dwarf from nine to 23.
The family alleged that Natalia was “told her new date of birth at the orphanage in Ukraine” before moving to the United States and “threatened to stab” their children while living with them in Layfette, Indiana.
“She tried to poison and kill my wife,” Barnett claimed.
‘[And] one night I opened my eyes and Natalia is standing at the foot of the bed with a knife in her hand.’
Michael and Kristine Barnett (pictured) adopted Natalia Grace in April 2010, believing they were bringing home a six-year-old child, but things quickly took a turn for the worse when they said she had become violent and suspected she was an adult posing like a child
The family claimed Natalia (pictured) was “told her new date of birth at the orphanage in Ukraine” and “threatened to stab” their children
“I definitely didn’t feel safe around Natalia,” their son Jake said in the documentary.
The Barnetts left Natalia in Layfette, Indiana, after getting her an apartment.
They were later charged with neglect for abandoning a child, but the Barnett family claimed they were victims of fraud.
Police said at the time that Natalia was left to her own devices for three years – despite a rare form of dwarfism, which means she is three feet tall and has difficulty walking.
In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV in 2019, Kristine insisted there was a major flaw in the case: Natalia was not a nine-year-old — as the indictment documents claimed. She was actually 22.
The emotional trailer shows Michael banging his fist on the ground (left) and crying (right) as he recalls his family’s story
The Barnetts were charged with neglecting their child after launching Natalia in early 2010 and moving to Canada after requesting a court to set her birth year back 14 years, which was granted. Their charges were dropped in October 2022 and March 2023
In an episode of Dr. 2019’s Phil denied Natalia being an adult and her new parents even defended her saying she was a “genuinely loving girl” and not a “grown sociopath pretending to be a kid.”
Despite her age being legally changed, the couple were still charged because authorities said she was dependent on the Barnetts because of her dwarfism.
Originally, they were also charged with child neglect, but those were dropped due to the legal age change and statute of limitations.
Barnett told DailyMailTV that she and her family were the real victims, after being terrorized for years by the mysterious imposter who threatened to stab them in their sleep, pushed her to an electric fence and poured bleach into her coffee.
“She made statements and took pictures saying she wanted to kill relatives, then rolled them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard,” she told DailyMailTV.
“She was standing with people in the middle of the night. You couldn’t go to sleep. We had to hide all sharp objects.
“I saw her put chemicals, bleach, Windex or something in my coffee and I asked her, ‘What are you doing?’ She said, “I’m trying to poison you.”
“The media portrays me as a child molester, but there is no child here,” Barnett said.
In a 2019 episode (pictured) of Dr. Phil denied Natalia being an adult, and her new parents even defended her, saying she was a “sincere loving girl” and not a “grown sociopath pretending to be a kid.”
The building in Lafayette, Indiana where Kristine and Michael Barnett rented an apartment for Natalia to live in after they left for Canada
Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew an inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism.
“The doctors all confirmed that she suffered from a serious mental illness that is only diagnosed in adults.
She jumped out of moving cars. She smeared blood on mirrors. She did things you could never imagine a little kid doing.”
However, their son Jake said in the trailer that his mother was not entirely innocent.
“My mother is not 100 percent innocent,” their now grown son told Investigation Discovery.
In the past, Michael accused his now ex-wife of hitting Natalia.
In October, Michael was acquitted of his charges.
Nearly six months later, Kristine’s case would be dismissed three weeks before trial.
The first part of The Curious Case of Natalia Grace will air on ID on May 29 from 9pm to 11pm.