Natalia Grace, Orphan Accused of Trying to Kill Adoptive Parents, Speaks Out in Chilling Docuseries

Natalia Grace, the Ukrainian orphan accused of attempting to harm her adoptive parents, is sharing her side of the story in a hair-raising teaser for an upcoming docuseries on her case.

By Kisha Forde Dec 12, 2023 8:26 PMTags
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Natalia Grace wants to shed light on the curiosity surrounding her case.

In May, the fascinating story behind the Ukrainian orphan adopted by Michael and Kristine Barnett unfolded in the Investigation Discovery docuseries The Curious Case of Natalia Grace. In his account, Michael said he and his now ex-wife adopted Natalia—who has spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita, a rare genetic disorder—when she was 6 years old in 2010.

However, the former couple accused Natalia of attempting to kill them after her adoption, alleging that she was not a child, but instead, was an adult sociopath with ulterior motives.

For her part, Natalia has insisted that she was in fact, a child, when the Barnetts adopted her and did not threaten to harm or kill members any members of her adoptive family. And now, she's addressing the Barnetts' accusations head-on.

"I was never in y'all's room with a knife," Natalia tells Michael in the trailer for the upcoming six-part series The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks premiering Jan. 1. And to this, Michael, responds with a slight shrug, "I know what I saw."

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Cue an exasperated sigh from Natalia.

"In every lie is a hidden truth, but you've got to dig enough to be able to see it," she says, "They're not going to get away with this. This is my side of the story. Do I look like a monster to you?"

Two years after adopting Natalia, the Barnetts petitioned a court to change her birth year from 2003 to 1989, making her 20 when they adopted her. Michael and Kristine subsequently moved with their three sons to Canada, leaving Natalia to live alone in an apartment in Lafayette, Ind., the following year.

Six years later, Michael and Kristine—whose divorced was finalized in 2018—were charged in Tippecanoe County, Ind., with neglect of a dependent, neglect of a dependent causing bodily injury, neglect of a dependent causing serious bodily injury, endangering a dependent's life, abandoning or cruelly confining a dependent, and conspiracy to neglect a dependent in connection to their move. They pleaded not guilty.

Michael was found not guilty on his charges in 2022, while prosecutors dropped their case against his ex-wife this past March.

Investigation Discovery

This latest docuseries will take a closer look at the "adoption saga and the Barnetts' allegations from Natalia's perspective," according to a press release, "offering insight into what really went on behind closed doors in the Barnetts' home."

Natalia Speaks will also feature "previously unseen evidence and footage," per the press release, "as well as new theories and testimony from an array of voices, including the retired FBI agents who initially investigated Natalia's case and genetic experts who help determine Natalia's true age."

The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks will debut on three consecutive nights on ID starting Jan. 1.

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