The ID network’s The Curious Case of Natalia Grace true crime docuseries explores the mystery of Natalia Grace Barnett, a former orphan from Ukraine, and the allegations made against her by her adoptive parents, Michael and Kristine Barnett. The Barnetts claim that at the time of her adoption, they were told she was 6 years old. However, Natalia’s alleged behavioral issues and her physical appearance led Michael and Kristine to believe she was an adult with a form of dwarfism called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDc).
Michael and Kristine Barnett made multiple claims that Natalia Grace threatened and attempted to kill them, as well as their biological sons Jacob, Wesley, and Ethan. But did Natalia actually kill anyone? Here’s what to know about the case and where Natalia is today.
Natalia Grace Barnett’s Adoptive Family Claims She Tried to Kill Them
The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, which aired six episodes across three nights in May, features interviews with Michael and his family, as well as neighbors and friends. The docuseries also includes footage of Natalia living with the Barnetts.
In the first episode, Michael describes an incident where Natalia allegedly stood “at the foot of the bed with a knife in her hand.”
“She’d been taking knives out of the kitchen and hiding them under her bed,” Michael says. “[She said], ‘I’m going to kill you in your sleep.’”
Michael also claims that Natalia was caught attempting to poison Kristine’s coffee with Pledge cleaner and that Natalia once pushed Kristine into an electric fence and told her she was trying to kill her. Natalia was admitted to Larue Carter Hospital in Indianapolis for a mental evaluation, where she allegedly wrote detailed letters about how she planned to kill the Barnetts’ sons.
“I definitely didn’t feel safe around Natalia. I just was scared,” Jacob says in the premiere.
Did Natalia Grace Barnett Kill Anyone? What She Says About the Case
There were never any reports that Natalia killed anyone. She denied her adoptive parents’ claims in a 2019 appearance on Dr. Phil, insisting that she was 16 years old and born on Sept. 4, 2003, as originally stated on her birth record from Ukraine.
“I was 6 years old when I came to the United States,” Natalia said.
Natalia also denied ever trying to harm the Barnetts. She spoke about the incident with Kristine’s coffee, explaining that she and Kristine had been cleaning together.
“It was Lemon Pledge for tables,” Natalia said on the talk show. “So we had missed a spot, so what I did was I scooted the chair over so I could get up there, and I scooted her coffee back so I could grab the [Pledge] ‘cause it was in front of it. So I scooted it back and I grabbed it. She came out and was like, ‘What are you doing?’ And then she claimed that I tried to spray it in her coffee.”
Where Is Natalia Grace Now?
In 2012, Michael and Kristine petitioned to have Natalia’s birth year changed from 2003 to 1989. As Michael explains in The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, they cited physical evidence that Natalia could have been an adult, such as pubic hair and remnants of menstruation on her clothing. A judge granted their request, and Natalia’s birth record was officially changed.
Not long after that, the Barnetts rented an apartment for Natalia in Lafayette, Indiana. Michael and Kristine moved to Canada with their three sons in 2013, leaving Natalia behind. Despite the change to Natalia’s birth record, Michael and Kristine both faced charges for neglect of a dependent in 2019. The charges have since been dismissed.
As for Natalia, she was adopted by a couple named Antwon and Cynthia Mans shortly after the Barnetts abandoned her. Antwon and Cynthia appeared with Natalia on Dr. Phil in 2019 and maintained that she was a teen. Natalia appears to still be living in Indiana.
As a follow-up to The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, ID network plans to release a two-hour documentary titled The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks later this summer. In a preview shared by Entertainment Tonight, Natalia said that she will share her “side of the story.”
“Y’all have heard from Kristine and Michael and what they have said. But you need to hear both sides in order to know what happened,” she added.
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