In 2010, Kristine and Michael Barnett, who lived in Florida, adopted a Ukrainian six-year-old girl named Natalia, who has a form of dwarfism.
However, it didn’t take long for the adoptive parents to question their new daughter’s age, for a number of reasons. For example, Kristine Barnett remembers giving Natalia a bath for the first time and noticing the girl had pubic hair. She also had periods, they claim, and adult teeth – uncommon bodily developments for a girl of her age.
“I had just been told she was a six-year-old and it was very apparent she wasn’t,” Kristine told the Daily Mail recently.
Kristine and Michael believed her to be close to 22-years-old, alleging she was actually born in 1989. In 2012, they had her age legally changed.
"The movie Orphan is exactly what happened," Kristine said, referencing the 2009 thriller that sees two parents adopt a murderous woman masquerading as a child.
Indeed, just like that movie, Kristine and Michael claim Natalia tried to kill them. They say Natalia tried to drag Kristine into an electric fence, poisoned their coffee and stood above them while they slept. According to them, Natalia is a "sociopath" and a "con artist".
So they moved to Canada and left Natalia behind, paying for her to live in an apartment by herself.
In September this year, they were charged with neglect and will now stand trial in early 2020 for their apparent abandonment.