A MUM accused of abandoning her adopted daughter has claimed the girl was a 22-year-old “sociopath” who wanted to kill their family.
Kristine Barnett, 45, and her now ex-husband Michael Barnett, 43, adopted Natalia Grace, a Ukrainian girl who has dwarfism, in 2010.
Kristine Elizabeth Barnett and her husband have been charged with abandoning their disabled adopted daughter[/caption]
Mrs Barnett and her husband Michael Barnett appeared on 60 Minutes for a different story about their son[/caption]
A doctor who examined her in that year determined Natalia was about eight years old, court documents state.
But in 2012, the parents legally changed her age to 22 before leaving her alone in a flat in Indiana, US, for three years when they moved to Canada.
The couple have been charged with neglecting Natalia – but they claim they were terrorised by the girl who they say was masquerading as a child.
Ms Barnett has claimed that Natalia poured bleach in her coffee and threatened to stab family members in their sleep.
“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’.”
The 60 Minutes clip appeared to show the then-couple’s adopted daughter sitting at the dinner table with them (top left, next to her adoptive mother)[/caption]
Prosecutors have filed neglect charges against the Barnetts[/caption]
The mum said she began to get suspicious about Natalia’s age when she realised she had already started her period and was trying to cover it up.
She claims the girl also had adult teeth and full pubic hair.
Doctors also diagnosed her with a severe psychological illness only adults were capable of having, the mum claimed.
Ms Barnett said it led her to jumping from moving cars and smearing blood over mirrors.
The couple sought out the help of their family doctor who ordered bone density tests to establish Natalia’s age.
When the results suggested the little girl was indeed at least 14 or older, Ms Barnett says she bought Natalia more appropriate clothes.
But her behaviour allegedly started to deteriorate and culminated when Ms Barnett claims she tried to drag her on to an electric fence during a 2012 birthday outing.
Natalia was placed at a state-run psychiatric unit because she allegedly posed a risk to others.
Reports claim that Natalia confessed to being far older than she appeared during treatment – telling one nurse she was 18.
In a letter dated March 2012, the Barnetts’ doctor Andrew McLaren MD wrote that Natalia’s 2003 birth date was clearly inaccurate.
He claimed that Natalia had made a career out of pretending to be a young child.
The Barnetts had the girl’s age legally changed to 22 in June of 2012.
They reportedly told her to tell anyone who asked that she “looks young but was actually 22”.
The couple rented an apartment in Lafayette, Indiana, US in July 2013 and, despite knowing that the child knew no one in that city, they left her there alone for three years.
The adoptive parents then moved to Canada, investigators wrote in the affidavit.
Prosecutors have filed neglect charges against the Barnetts, citing evidence from other doctors.
They have denied the accusations and claimed the adoption was a scam.
“I am sick and devastated from the idea of any of these charges and maintain that they are false charges,” she wrote on Facebook.
In 2012, the Barnetts appeared on 60 Minutes for a story about their then 13-year-old son Jake who has Asperger’s syndrome.
The segment looked at how Jake, with the help of his parents, was studying physics at Purdue University Indianapolis despite once being told he may never be able to read.
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It appeared to show the then-couple’s adopted daughter sitting at the dinner table with them.
Ms Barnett also published a book around the same time the segment aired titled: “The Spark: A mother’s story of Nurturing, Genius, and Autism”.
Her book looks at how Jake developed physics theories before he was 10 and how his parents raised him.
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