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Indiana couple accused of abandoning adopted daughter move to Canada



A couple in Indiana were wanted because their adopted daughter's age changed from 8 to 22 and then left her alone in an apartment while they moved the rest of the family to Canada, prosecutors said.

Michael Barnett and his ex-wife Christine were indicted last week on two counts of felony neglect. On Tuesday, a judge in Tippecanoe County issued an order for both of them.

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

The County Sheriff's Office became involved in September 201

4 when Natalia Barnett told authorities that Michael and Christine had adopted her in November 2010, for a probable cause obtained by NBC News. [19659002] According to a court document, Natalia has a form of jufism, and hospital records of June 2010 indicate that she was approximately 8 years old.

However, hospital records from June 2012 indicate that she is about 11 years old, the release said. That same year, prosecutors allege that Michael and Christine legally changed Natalia's age to 22 and moved to Canada the following year, leaving her alone in an apartment in Lafayette in Tippecanoe County.

Natalia told authorities during an interview in September 2014 that she was originally from Ukraine and came to the United States in 2008 through an adoption program, court documents state.

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

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

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

"Michael Barnett admitted that Christine Barnett told Natalia to tell others that Natalia looked young but actually 22 years old, "the statement said.

Michael also told investment investors that he and Christine had paid rent for the Lafayette apartment but "did not financially support Natalia after leaving" for Canada, the document states. The statement said the neglect continued from July 2013 to February 2016, when Natalia moved out of the Tippecanoe district.

The court document does not say how Natalia could take care of herself after being abandoned in Indiana. The Tippecano County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the case when contacted by NBC News.

Kinard stated during a telephone interview that Michael was "distracted" by the allegations and was not "the frivolous person who was exposed" in court documents.

According to Kinard, Michael believes he and Christine are victims of fraud and were led to believe that they were adopting a child when Natalia was actually a young adult, between 18 and 22 years of age, who presents herself as a minor

Kinard also denied that his client abandoned Natalia, telling NBC News that Michael and Christine were moving to Canada to look for an option for their son and pay rent in the Lafayette apartment up front so that Natalia had nowhere to stay. [19659002] Authorities in Tippecanoe County became involved after Natalia introduced herself as a child of another couple and asked them for help, Kinard said.

Christine claimed in an interview with WISH-TV in Indiana Polis on Friday that Natalia was diagnosed as both a psychopath and a sociopath, and that when she and Michael adopted her, she was actually an adult, not a child, as they believe.

Christine called adoption "fraud" but would not provide the outcome with further details. According to WISH-TV, Michael and Christine filed for divorce in 2014, shortly after moving to Canada. The divorce was finalized last year.

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

"I am sick and devastated by the idea of ​​any of these accusations and maintain that they are false accusations," she said.

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

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

Minyvonne Burke is the decisive news reporter for NBC News. [19659026]
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