The story of the 6-year-old Ukrainian orphan who may or may not have actually been a murderous adult has raised many, many questions among those fascinated by her case, but the most pressing one is definitely, “Where is she now?” Well, good news for us! Natalia has been found, and she’s... living with another family in Indiana.
According to the Daily Mail, Natalia Barnett is living with a Christian couple “who consider her their teen daughter.” As the tabloid put it: “But depending on whom you believe, the bubbly, baby-faced ‘youngster’ is either a 16-year-old girl—or a 30-year-old ‘sociopath’ masquerading as a child.”
Natalia’s adoptive parents, Antwon and Cynthia Mans, wisely declined to talk to the Mail when approached for an interview, though they’re long aware of the controversy around her age. As you’ll recall, Natalia was found abandoned and/or living in an apartment in 2013 after her former adoptive family, the Barnetts, moved to Canada without her. But contrary to what one may think, the Barnetts didn’t abandon Natalia because of her alleged habit of trying to poison their coffee with bleach or standing over them while they were sleeping. They simply concluded she was actually an adult with a rare form of dwarfism posing as a child and, after helping her come up with a plan to get her life together, left her behind when they moved.
The Mans seem to have entered Natalia’s life between 2013 and 2016, when they applied to become her legal guardians, though they withdrew the petition when the court upheld an earlier ruling that Natalia was born in 1989 and not 2003. Even if she is an adult, the Mans seem to have determined that they’re committed to her.
“The Mans care for Natalia and she likes being there,” a friend told the tabloid. “There’s nothing crazy going on or anything. These are good people,” the friend said, adding,
“They just so happened to come across this person that was not being treated right and cared enough to put in the effort to make sure something was done about it. If it’s true that her parents had abandoned her, it’s horrible.
“I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist but I’ve spoken with Natalia and I believe her. If you’re asking me if I think she is 30, that’s ridiculous.”
Lots to unravel here, but first: Has Natalia ever tried to push anyone in the Mans family into an electric fence?