A mother and father of three were prosecuted for neglecting their adopted daughter, who allegedly was a 22-year-old sociopath pretending to be 9.

Kristine Barnett, 45, and her ex-husband Michael Barnett, 43, allegedly abandoned Ukrainian-born Natalia Grace at an apartment in Lafayette, Indiana in 2013 before moving to Canada, the Daily Mail reports.

Despite Kristine Barnett's claims that Natalia Grace was actually a 22-year-old woman, she was charged with crimes against a child. Photo / Tippecanoe County Jail
Despite Kristine Barnett's claims that Natalia Grace was actually a 22-year-old woman, she was charged with crimes against a child. Photo / Tippecanoe County Jail
Michael Barnett was charged with crimes against a child this month. Photo / Tippecanoe County Jail
Michael Barnett was charged with crimes against a child this month. Photo / Tippecanoe County Jail

Natalia Grace's birth certificate read September 4, 2003, but Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis determined in 2012 that Natalia Grace was in fact born in 1989, aging her 22-years-old at the time.

Despite these findings, the Tippecanoe County Sheriff's Department presents a very different version of events to Kristina Barnett's story.

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An expert at the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital carried out bone density tests on Natalia Grace in June 2010 concluding she was approximately 8.

The girl, who has a rare form of dwarfism that means she is 91cm tall, was left to fend for herself for three years, police have said. Her bone growth disorder causes short stature, skeletal abnormalities and problems with vision.

Natalia Grace had a rare form of dwarfism that means she is 3ft tall and has problems walking. Photo / Kristine Barnett
Natalia Grace had a rare form of dwarfism that means she is 3ft tall and has problems walking. Photo / Kristine Barnett

In an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV, Kristine Barnett reveals a major error in their case.

Barnett claims that for years her family was terrorised by Natalia Grace who "threatened to stab them in their sleep, pushed her towards an electric fence and poured bleach in her coffee", DailyMail reveals.

"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," Barnett 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 media is painting me to be a child abuser but there is no child here," said the mother of three.

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"Natalia was a woman. She had periods. She had adult teeth. She never grew a single inch, which would happen even with a child with dwarfism.

"The doctors all confirmed she was suffering a severe psychological illness only diagnosed in adults.

"She was jumping out of moving cars. She was smearing blood on mirrors. She was doing things you could never imagine a little child doing."

Natalia Grace was adopted by the Barnetts in 2010 where Kristine Barnett believes she treated the Ukrainian-born girl "as if she were her biological child".

Despite being given just 24-hours to complete an emergency adoption and very little detail of Natalia Grace's background, Barnett reveals in her interview with DailyMailTV that she had no hesitation of accepting the 6-year-old, at the time.

Natalia Grace had a Ukrainian birth certificate and had been in the US for two years. The girl needed an emergency adoption because her previous adoptive parents suddenly gave her up - for undisclosed reasons, Daily Mail report.

When the Barnetts took Natalia Grace in the parents became alarmed when seeing the little girl naked for the first time.

"I was giving her a bath and I noticed that she had full pubic hair. I was so shocked. I had just been told she was a 6-year-old and it was very apparent she wasn't," Barnett said.

There were other red flags that made the Barnetts question Natalia Grace's real identity as she didn't have any trace of a foreign accent, and she couldn't speak or describe her homeland.

Natalia Grace needed an immediate adoption as her previous parents gave her up suddenly with no reasoning, Daily Mail reports. Photo / Kristine Barnett
Natalia Grace needed an immediate adoption as her previous parents gave her up suddenly with no reasoning, Daily Mail reports. Photo / Kristine Barnett

"It's very hard to decipher how old she is because she has such a unique look. But at that time I started to believe she was probably a teenager," the mother added.

"I didn't have any regrets. This was what I wanted to do. I felt overwhelming love for her."

Barnett took Natalia Grace to the family physician who ordered density tests to establish Natalia Grace's age.

The results revealed that the little girl was at least 14 or older, so Barnett tried to switch her clothing appearances to something more appropriate for the girl's age.

As questions began to build around the true age and identity of Natalia Grace, her behaviour began to spin out of control.

Barnett said that by 2011, Natalia Grace was "smearing bodily fluid on walls, making death threats and hearing voices as her mental health broke down", says Daily Mail.

The little girl spent the next year being treated for various psychiatric disorders, spending periods of time at the St Vincent Indianapolis Stress Center.

Barnett claims that Natalia Grace tried to "drag her on to an electric fence during a 2012 birthday outing", so she was placed in a long-term psychiatric unit as she posed a risk to others.

It was during treatment that Barnett insists that the girl finally confessed to being far older than she said she was.

The mother presented a trove of paperwork to DailyMailTV that allegedly confirms her version of the events and health care professions support her concerns.

Most revealing of all the paperwork is a letter, dated in 2012, from the Barnett's care physician that states Natalia Grace's 2003 birth date was inaccurate and that he believed the girl had made a career out of pretending to be a young child. He said Natalia Grace fooled him, her parents and other physicians.

Following the report, the Barnetts successfully applied to Marion County Superior Court in Indianapolis to have Natalia Grace's age corrected so she could receive the proper health care she needed as an adult in her condition.

As Natalia Grace was seen as an adult by the state, the Barnetts rented an apartment for her when she was discharged from psychiatric care and placed under the supervision of state healthcare.

The 22-year-old caused problems at the apartment and was evicted so the Barnetts stepped in again, to prevent her from being homeless, renting her a new apartment.

"I said I've been taking care of you here as an adult, I will do one more year of financial aid, the exact same thing I am doing for all of my children," Kristina Barnett said in the interview.

"I co-signed the lease and paid for the rent upfront for a year. I did everything you would do when you send your child off to college, I helped her with groceries and bought furniture at Target for her."

The following year, the Barnett family moved to Canada without Natalia Grace who had vanished and cut all communication with her adoptive parents.

"I did not abandon anyone. I went to Canada to further my son's education. These accusations are absolutely devastating," Barnett reveals.

An affidavit of probable cause obtained by DailyMailTV reveals that it was Natalia Grace who went to the police herself saying that she had been left while her adoptive parents moved to Canada.

In the final chapter of their confusing relationship being decided at the Tippecanoe Circuit Court in 2016, a couple unexpectedly applied to become Natalia Grace's guardians which meant proving she was a minor and restoring her original birth date.

"Natalia was living on her own and a couple wanted to become her guardians. Thinking she was still a child, the couple tried to overturn the 2012 result," explained Michael Barnett's attorney.

The judge upheld the original findings of Natalia Grace's identity and the couple dropped the guardianship request.

While Kristine and Michael Barnett try to prove their innocence, they were both charged by the state of Indiana for crimes against a child.

Kristine Barnett surrendered on the 19th of September and was released after posting a USD US$55,000 bond.

Ex-husband Michael Barnett surrendered to the Tippecanoe County Jail in Lafayette on September 18th and was immediately released after posting his US$5000 bail.