Parents Accused of Abandoning Their 9-Year-Old Child Say She Was Actually a Fully-Grown, Mentally Unwell Adult

Screenshot: Orphan

Perhaps you’re familiar with the positively blood-freezing horror movie Orphan, in which (SPOILER!) a mysterious 9-year-old adopted by a well-meaning family turns out to be a murderous 33-year-old? Just a movie, you say? Not so, says the Daily Mail, which brings us a similarly fucking terrifying tale of a mentally disturbed adult posing as a child.

Back in 2010, Kristine and Michael Barnett thought they were coming to the rescue of a 6-year-old Ukrainian girl named Natalia Grace, adopting her under shadowy circumstances about which they were too polite to ask questions. Instead, they wound up with a full grown adult with dwarfism—and, it turns out, some extreme psychiatric problems. As Kristine Barnett told the Mail:

‘She would make statements and draw pictures saying she wanted to kill family members, roll them up in a blanket and put them in the backyard,’ she told DailyMailTV.

‘She was standing over people in the middle of the night. You couldn’t go to sleep. We had to hide all the sharp objects.

‘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.”

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OKAY! Later, the Barnetts were charged with neglect for allegedly abandoning Natalia, which they argue is obviously not possible considering she was an adult all along, Barnett said:

“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.

‘The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults.

‘She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing.’

Barnett said that her suspicions about Natalia’s age continued to mount in the months after her adoption, and eventually, she sought a bone density test to learn the truth. The results suggested she was at least 14, but rather than running for the hills like some might have done, Barnett said she instead recalibrated her approach and treat her more appropriately for her age. Despite this, Natalia’s behavior deteriorated, and she did everything from attacking a baby to trying to push Barnett into an electric fence.

After spending time in psychiatric facilities, the Barnetts were able to get Natalia’s legal age “corrected” from 8 to 22, in order to get her treated as an adult. Despite the jig being up, the Barnetts said they rented Natalia an apartment and helped her come up with a plan to earn her high school diploma and enroll in school for cosmetology:

‘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.’

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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.”

What. The. Fuck. Read the full story at the Daily Mail here.

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