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A five-year investigation resulted in charges against parents accused of changing their adopted daughter’s age before abandoning her and moving to Canada.

Michael and Kristine Barnett are charged with neglect of a dependent, according to court documents filed in Tippecanoe County.

The girl told police she was originally from Ukraine and came to the U.S. in 2008 via an adoption program. The Barnetts became her adoptive parents in 2010, according to court documents. The girl, who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, lived with the family in Hamilton County for two years.

In July 2013, the Barnetts rented an apartment for her on North 11th Street in Lafayette, left her alone and then moved the rest of the family to Canada, court documents said.

Police interviewed the girl in September 2014. She told them she “had not seen the Barnetts since they moved to Canada.”

The couple also had her presumptive age changed from 8 years old to 22 years old in an Indiana Probate Court, according to court documents, although the process through which the age change was made was unclear

Kristine Barnett told the girl to tell people she was 22 and simply “looks young” for her age, investigators said. In June 2010, a doctor estimated her age at 8. An evaluation in June 2012 showed the girl was about 11 years old, court documents said.

During an interview in September 2019, Michael Barnett told investigators the family had her age “legally changed” even though they were aware she was a minor. Other than paying for rent at the Lafayette apartment, the couple didn’t support the girl financially, court documents said.
 
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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.
Well now, isn't this all as clear as mud! WTF. I want to see a pic of this dwarf and would love to know exactly what the child/girl/woman did in order to be considered a psycho or sociopath.
I haven't seen a photo of the girl on her own, but there is a picture of the family together...you can definitely see the shortened arms on her.


I couldn't get the photo load when I tried to insert the image url, sorry.

As for what she did to be considered a psychopath/sociopath, nothing has been proven. The mother has a letter from a single doctor stating these things, and she supposedly had the child committed to a psychiatric hospital at one point in 2012 saying she was an adult and was mentally unstable (but there is nothing to show she was actually in a hospital for those reasons).

At least the "dad" seems to be telling the truth for the most part...looks like he doesn't want to get in as much trouble as this could end up being...."mom" is covering her own ass and lying through her teeth to pretty much deny everything and throw it all on the child at this point.
 
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Babs

Trusted Member
Bold Member!
I haven't seen a photo of the girl on her own, but there is a picture of the family together...you can definitely see the shortened arms on her.


I couldn't get the photo load when I tried to insert the image url, sorry.

As for what she did to be considered a psychopath/sociopath, nothing has been proven. The mother has a letter from a single doctor stating these things, and she supposedly had the child committed to a psychiatric hospital at one point in 2012 saying she was an adult and was mentally unstable (but there is nothing to show she was actually in a hospital for those reasons).

At least the "dad" seems to be telling the truth for the most part...looks like he doesn't want to get in as much trouble as this could end up being...."mom" is covering her own ass and lying through her teeth to pretty much deny everything and throw it all on the child at this point.
Thank you for the info!
 

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Sugar Cookie

Veteran Member
Bold Member!
The girl was evicted in 2014 and taken into the care of some neighbors, a law enforcement source told Lafayette’s WLFI-TV. Her current whereabouts are unknown.

Felony child neglect charges were filed against Kristine and Michael on Sept. 11, the culmination of a five-year investigation. Neither has been taken into custody.

Kristine insisted on her innocence in a Facebook post published Sunday.

"I am sick and devastated from the idea of any of these charges and maintain that they are false charges," she wrote. "Friends and family you decide if what you are reading is real or fake for yourselves."

The parents accused of abandoning their adopted daughter in Lafayette before fleeing to Canada have turned themselves in.

According to the Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office, Kristine Barnett turned herself in Thursday morning. Her ex-husband, Michael Barnett, turned himself in Wednesday. Both have been released on bond.

Michael Barnett’s attorney, Terrance Kinnard, told WLFI that his client is a “pillar in his community” and has a “big heart.”

“He thought he was doing the right thing 10 years ago when he took someone in his home,” Kinnard told WLFI. “From his perspective he was as much of a victim as anyone in this whole scenario.”

Michael Barnett paid for the girl’s rent but didn’t provide other living expenses, according to court documents. Kinnard said Barnett hopes for the best for the girl.

“This is someone he has always cared for and cared about,” Kinnard said. “(Michael) is not abreast of her whereabouts, but he does have a concern to make sure she is OK.”

There is something wrong with both of these idiots.

I guess she did not need to eat or toilet paper.

If she was evicted than I even question if he paid the rent.
 
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elmgems

Active Member
I'm veering more toward the "adult" side. How many 11yos are capable of living solo, without added disabilities? She did manage alone for at least a year, if they left her in 2013 and she was evicted in 2014. She found some way to feed, clothe, and care for herself without support. These are not typical "child" skills.
 

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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.
I'm veering more toward the "adult" side. How many 11yos are capable of living solo, without added disabilities? She did manage alone for at least a year, if they left her in 2013 and she was evicted in 2014. She found some way to feed, clothe, and care for herself without support. These are not typical "child" skills.
Neighbours in the building were helping her out over the course of the time she was there. At some point around when she was evicted, the police became involved. I'd like to think it was a neighbour that called them in and let them know she was a child on her own.
 

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FrayedKnot

Chupacabra
Heres a much more in depth story. I am siding with the mother now...

So I just showed this to my friend who is a pediatric dentist and she said the teeth substantiate the claim that she is child and a pre-adolescent.

That said, she also admitted she had no experience with patients who are dwarves.

So who the fuck knows?
 

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Pandorama

Active Member
So I just showed this to my friend who is a pediatric dentist and she said the teeth substantiate the claim that she is child and a pre-adolescent.

That said, she also admitted she had no experience with patients who are dwarves.

So who the fuck knows?
I thought their dentist confirmed adult teeth?
they challenged the petition from the other would be parents so they seem pretty certain she's an adult scammer.
 

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Sugar Cookie

Veteran Member
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Post automatically merged:

‘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 six year old and it was very apparent she wasn't,’ she added.

There were further clues to an apparent deception: Natalia shunned dolls and toys, sought the company of teenage girls and appeared to use sophisticated vocabulary way beyond someone her age.

She didn't have any trace of a foreign accent and when the family asked a Ukrainian friend to speak in their native language Natalia couldn't understand or describe her homeland.

‘At the time I ran a little school and I remember she said to me, these children are exhausting, I don't know how you do it,’ Barnett went on.

‘I was like, you're supposed to be a child yourself. It was like something another mom would say as she dropped her kids off.

‘It's very hard to decipher how old she is because she has such a unique look. But at that time I started to believe she was probably a teenager.

‘But I didn’t have any regrets. This was what I wanted to do. I felt overwhelming love for her.’

Barnett says she soon began finding bloody clothing in the trash suggesting Natalia was having her period and trying to conceal the evidence.

She sought out the help of her family physician who ordered bone density tests to establish Natalia's age.

When the results suggested the little girl was indeed at least 14 or older, Barnett says she switched the princess outfits and pink dresses for more appropriate clothes.

But as questions swirled around her age and true identity, Natalia's behavior begun to deteriorate.

Barnett recalls watching aghast on a baby monitor as Natalia attacked a baby boy when she was out the room.

When they attended therapy together Natalia scoffed at the 'childish' bonding exercises.

By 2011 Barnett says that Natalia was smearing bodily fluid on walls, making death threats and hearing voices as her mental health broke down.

Natalia would spend the next year or so being treated for various psychiatric disorders, spending days to weeks at a time at the St Vincent Indianapolis Stress Center.

When Barnett claims she tried to drag her on to an electric fence during a 2012 birthday outing, Natalia was placed long-term at a state-run psychiatric unit because she allegedly posed a risk to others.

It was during treatment that Barnett insists that Natalia confessed to being far older than she appeared.

Barnett presented DailyMailTV with a trove of paperwork that appears to confirm her version of events – and that health care professionals shared her grave concerns.

One clinical therapist in January 2012 said Natalia claimed to them that she was 18.

Then, at Larue Carter Hospital in Indianapolis, in June 2012, staff said she had described how she had tried to kill family members and had no remorse about it, with Natalia going as far as to describe it as fun to staff.

In June of 2012 the Barnetts successfully applied to Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis, Indiana to have Natalia's age 'corrected' so she could receive the appropriate psychiatric treatment for an adult.

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 4, 1989 - changing her age from eight to 22.

At this stage, Barnett points out, Natalia was considered an adult by the state of Indiana and was legally responsible for herself.

Even so, Barnett says she and her husband rented an apartment for Natalia when she was discharged from secure psychiatric care in August 2012 and placed under the supervision of state healthcare provider, Aspire Indiana.

They further helped her get a social security number, apply for benefits, food stamps and an ID.

When Natalia caused problems at the property and was evicted they stepped in again to prevent her from being homeless, renting a new apartment for her in Lafayette, Tippecanoe County.

Barnett said she was communicating daily with Natalia and even came up with a plan for Natalia to enroll in college to get her high school diploma and study cosmetology.

'I said I've been taking care of you here as an adult, I will do one more year of financial aid, the exact same thing I am doing for all of my children,' she said.

'I co-signed the lease and paid for the rent up front for a year. I did everything you would do when you send your child off to college, I helped her with groceries and bought furniture at Target for her.

'I was optimistic, she had a concrete plan for her life. She had food stamps. She had social security income for the rest of her things. She had demonstrated she was able to live.’

I would read the entire article at link.
Too many questions to decide either way on her age.
 
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Brillig

Danse Macabre Instructor
Bold Member!
I still think she is an adult. The original court that adjusted Natalia's age appears to have had a lot of data from numerous medical professionals and mental health facilities to base their decision on. It was not done merely because the parents requested it with no evidence.

Frankly, that makes sense. Since I first heard of this case it seemed very odd to me that a court would have changed a child's birthdate to that of an adult without a mountain of very convincing evidence.
 

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FrayedKnot

Chupacabra
I thought their dentist confirmed adult teeth?
they challenged the petition from the other would be parents so they seem pretty certain she's an adult scammer.
Yes, I did read that, which is why I asked my friend. Obviously a dentist who had actually examined her would know better.

I still have a hinky feeling about this story.
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Earlier this month, an affidavit revealed that Natalia herself told police in 2014 she’d been abandoned, which doesn’t explain why police waited five years to charge Michael Barnett, who had since divorced Kristine. The affidavit added that “when an officer spoke with Michael on September 5 he admitted he knew all along that Natalia was a minor child when she was allegedly abandoned, and that “Michael Barnett admitted Kristine Barnett told Natalia to tell others Natalia looks young but was actually 22.”

Why would “dad” tell police something like that if it were not true? Wtf?
 
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tmdgirl

The girl who waited....forever.
I'm honestly not sure what to believe in this case anymore. The new article posted really makes me more certain that the "mom" is a narcissist and everything is still all about her.....but it seems there is some evidence to suggest the girl is/was older than first thought.....and another but though, there is also evidence to suggest she was still a child. So who's right and wrong and was she really a child or not??

The "dad" and his lawyer deny his saying he knew she was a child, but he is also not corroborating the "mom's" version of events either. That kind of stands out to me....like why not deny it like crazy and back up the story if what she says is true.....it really looks like he's distancing himself from it because of whatever reason (like its not true or maybe not entirely accurate).
 

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Ramona the brave

Active Member
Link: https://nypost.com/2019/09/23/couple-claims-their-abandoned-child-is-actually-a-scam-artist-with-dwarfism/

A couple from Indiana is accused of ditching their adopted 10-year-old daughter and moving to Canada — but they claim the girl is actually an adult with dwarfism running a psychotic scam, according to reports.

In a story that eerily mirrors the 2009 horror flick “The Orphan,” Kristine Barnett and her ex-husband Michael Barnett claimed to local station WISH-TV that Natalia, the girl they adopted from Ukraine in 2010, is a grownup and a diagnosed psychopath and sociopath.

At the time of the adoption, Kristine Barnett, 43, said she was told that Natalia, who has a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal, was 8 years old.

But in 2012, she says she realized the adoption was a scam and got the girl’s age legally changed to 22 in an Indiana probate court.
 

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FrayedKnot

Chupacabra
I'm honestly not sure what to believe in this case anymore. The new article posted really makes me more certain that the "mom" is a narcissist and everything is still all about her.....but it seems there is some evidence to suggest the girl is/was older than first thought.....and another but though, there is also evidence to suggest she was still a child. So who's right and wrong and was she really a child or not??

The "dad" and his lawyer deny his saying he knew she was a child, but he is also not corroborating the "mom's" version of events either. That kind of stands out to me....like why not deny it like crazy and back up the story if what she says is true.....it really looks like he's distancing himself from it because of whatever reason (like its not true or maybe not entirely accurate).
Plus, this “rushed adoption” smacks of shadiness and rehoming. :rolleyes:
And in my experience given my advanced age, the truth always lies somewhere in between.
 

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ummmm yea tht part

Active Member
You wont see it happen, for the same reason they cant prove 100% that she is a child.

Age tests on a live human are very similar to those on a skeleton, except instead of having bones to measure, they have scans to measure. We have no accurate way to guess age. What happens is they measure the long bones bones, look at end caps on the bones to see how closed they are, look at the pelvic region to see if puberty had happened or if there are signs of birth etc. Its all a rough guess.

Her having dwarfism will make it extremely hard to anyone to accurately guess her age because their bone structures get all kinds of fucked. Its not even fucked in the same ways for all of them, its individually unique to each. Egypt is one of the best examples of how badly we actually calculate age. Because they like to preserve their dead there are many skeletons that were once assumed to be children that they are only now realizing are more than likely people with dwarfism.
Wouldn't they be able to tell by her teeth
 

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Craygor

Norse American
Bold Member!
Wouldn't they be able to tell by her teeth
Determining age by teeth development has a natural spread of at least 5 years and that's with a normal, healthy person. Poor nutrition and physiological abnormalities only compound the accuracy. Being from Ukraine, orphaned, and having dwarfism would make any age determination of Natalie by her teeth extremely hard, if not outright impossible.
 
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