The new docuseries The Curious Case of Natalia Grace launched true crime fans into a frenzy as the series details the mystery surrounding orphan Natalia Grace Barnett and her adoptive parents, Michael and Kristine Barnett. While Natalia is no longer in the care of the Barnetts, little is known about the Indiana-based pair. Keep reading for details on Michael’s occupation and where he is now.
What Happened to Michael Barnett?
Michael and his ex-wife, Kristine, adopted Natalia Grace in April 2010 from Ukraine through an emergency adoption process. At the time, the couple was told their adoptive daughter – who was born with spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia – was six years old.
However, shortly after bringing her home to Indiana, the couple allegedly began noticing concerning behavior, leading them to believe she was much older than they were previously told.
In a teaser clip for the docuseries, which premiered on May 29, 2023, on ID, Michael claimed that Natalia “threatened to stab [his biological] sons,” Jacob, Wesley and Ethan.
“You’re gonna get the truth,” Michael said. “I will pre-warn you, you might not like the truth. April 26, 2010, that’s the day we adopted Natalia. We had no idea what we were dealing with.”
In addition to threats against his sons, Michael also alleged that Natalia Grace attempted to kill his wife multiple times, including by poison and electric fence.
After moving to Canada in 2013, the former couple was charged with multiple counts of neglect in the state of Indiana in September 2019. However, the case against Michael was dismissed in February 2022 before being found not guilty in the October 2022 retrial.
Michael is currently residing in Indiana following his trial in 2022.
What Did Michael Barnett Do for a Living?
While little is known about Natalia Grace’s former adoptive father, it has been confirmed that he is back in Indiana after living in Canada.
Michael has largely worked retail jobs over the years, working his way up from team leader roles to district manager roles for companies such as Circuit City and T-Mobile, In Touch can exclusively confirm. Now, Michael works as a District Director of Operations for a financial company in Indiana.
“As the District Director of Operations (DDO), I am 100 [percent] solely responsible for the recruiting, training, retention of the team for 11 locations in Central Indiana,” his LinkedIn profile claims. “As well, my responsibilities are the same as any standard District Manager (DM) with driving results, engagement, staffing, development, goal achievement and P&L execution.”
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