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Indiana couple accused of abandoning adopted daughter and moving to Canada



A couple in Indiana are wanted for allegedly changing the age of their adopted daughter from 8 to 22, and then leaving her alone in the apartment while they moved the rest of the family to Canada, prosecutors said.

Michael Barnett and his now ex-wife, Christina, were accused last week of two counts of neglect. On Tuesday, a Tippecano County judge issued a warrant for both of them.

Terrence Kinnard, Michael's lawyer, told NBC News that his client plans to surrender police Wednesday. Court records show that Kristin has not yet been arrested.

The County Sheriff's Office joined in September 201

4 when Natalia Barnett told authorities that Michael and Christine accepted her in November 2010, according to a possible statement made to NBC News. [19659002] According to a court document, Natalia has a dwarf form, and hospital records from June 2010 showed that she was about 8 years old.

However, according to the hospital since June 2012, it was shown that she was about 11 years old, the report said. That same year, prosecutors allege that Michael and Christine legally changed Natalya's age to 22, and the following year they moved to Canada, leaving her alone in an apartment in Lafayette in Tippecanoe County. originally from Ukraine and arrived in the United States in 2008 through an adoption program, court documents state.

She told authorities that she had not seen her adoptive parents since moving to Canada.

Earlier this month, authorities spoke with Michael, who confirmed that he and Christina had changed Natalya's age in 2012, although doctors determined she was underage.

Christine Barnett spoke with Katie Couric at KATIE in 2013. Donna Svennevik / Walt Disney TV via Getty Images

"Michael Barnett confessed, Christine Barnett told Natalia to tell others that Natalia looked young, but she was actually 22 years old," the handbook states.

Michael also told about the investment by the tigers that they and Christina had paid rent for an apartment in Lafayette, but "did not financially support Natalia after leaving" to Canada, the document said. The affidavit states that the neglect lasted from July 2013 to February 2016, when Natalia moved from the Tippecanoe district.

The court document does not state how Natalia was able to take care of herself after she was left in Indiana. The Tippecano County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the matter when contacted by NBC News.

During a telephone interview, Kinnard stated that Michael was "confused" about the allegations and was not a "call sign" in court documents.

According to Kinnard, Michael believes that he and Christina are victims of fraud, and he was forced to believe that they were adopting a child when Natalia was actually a young adult, aged 18 to 22, who represented herself as a minor.

Kinnard also denied that his client had dropped Natalia, telling NBC News that Michael and Christina had moved to Canada to find an opportunity for their son and paid rent in an apartment in Lafayette so Natalia had a place to stay.

Authorities in Tippecano County became involved after Natalia introduced herself as a child to another couple and asked for their help, Kinnard said.

Christine stated in an interview with WISH-TV in Indianapolis on Friday that Natalia was diagnosed as a psychopath and sociopath, and that when she and Michael adopted her, she was actually an adult, not a child, like they believed.

Christine called the adoption an "affair" but would not provide an outlet with additional details. According to WISH-TV, Michael and Christine filed for divorce in 2014, shortly after moving to Canada.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Christine said she was shocked by the allegations against her.

"I'm sick and devastated by the idea of ​​any of these accusations and claim they are false accusations," she said.

Christine is an author whose family previously made headlines, like her son Jacob, who has autism, has become what many consider a mathematical harlot. Jacob's story was featured in national media, including "60 Minutes," in 2012.

Christine did not retry NBC News's attempts to reach her. [19659023] Image: Minyvonne Burke ” class=”headshot___3D_6B w3-print”/> Minyvonne Burke

Minyvonne Burke is the current news reporter for NBC News.


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