Is Michael Barnett married? Where is Natalia Grace’s adoptive father now?

Michael Barnett

Investigation Discovery’s The Curious Case of Natalia Grace has arguably left viewers with more questions than answers regarding Natalia Grace’s true age. In the documentary, Michael Barnett insists he and his ex-wife, Kristine, were duped into adopting Natalia, who posed as a six-year-old but was much older. They maintain that Natalia was a sociopath who intended to harm the family. Natalia tells her side of the story in the follow-up documentary The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks

Michael Barnett remarried and works for a financial company in Indiana

Michael Barnett has gradually rebuilt his life following the breakup of his family. He is married and working as a District Director of Operations for a financial company in Indiana. 

Michael worked retail jobs for several years, rising the ranks to district manager for companies like T-Mobile and Circuit City. His LinkedIn profile states:

“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. 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.”

In the documentary, Michael blames Natalia for his divorce and financial capitulation. He says that before the Barnetts adopted Natalia, they lived a luxurious life. Michael describes the Barnetts as a ‘happy family’ with 13 couches, 14 TVs, and a Lamborghini. He adds that Natalia changed everything:

“Early 2010, we were blessed with many things. By the time 2014 came around, I have 37 cents in my bank account, I have no wife, I have no children, I have no home and no job. If Natalia never entered our lives, I never get divorced.”

Michael states that when he and Kristine started questioning Natalia’s age, she snapped, morphing from the sweet, innocent girl they adopted into a sociopath with murderous intent. He explained: “She tried to poison and kill my wife. [And] one night, I opened my eyes and Natalia is standing at the foot of the bed with a knife in her hand. She would do as much as possible to cause hurt or harm or mental distress to the entire family.”

Natalia’s Lafayette neighbors corroborate Michael’s account, saying Natalia nonchalantly admitted to attempting to harm the family. “[She said] I stood over them with a knife, so they took all the knives away,” Melanie Niles recalls. “And then I tried to poison them, so I had to live in the garage for a while.”

A juror said Michael was lucky to avoid prison during his trial for neglect

Prosecutors charged Michael and Kristine Barnett with neglect after they abandoned Natalia in Lafayette and moved to Canada. In October 2022, a jury acquitted Michael of all charges. Several months later, prosecutors filed a motion to dismiss the charges against Kristine. “It’s over,” Michael’s wife said after his acquittal. 

Jayne Parker, the jury foreperson, says in the documentary that Michael was lucky to avoid prison. She claims that the judge placed many restrictions on the jury, forcing them to acquit Michael. The Journal & Courier reports that jurors never heard about Natalia’s adoption story and that the Barnetts changed Natalia’s birth year via a court order. Parker says:

“During the trial, there’s tons of questions that really never got answered. As we started the deliberation process, 100 percent of the jurors — 100 percent — definitely believed that Michael Barnett was guilty of abandoning her.”

“But because the judge was very, very clear on what we had to follow, people were just like, ‘Ugh, we have to “Not guilty.” Ugh.’ And that was the tone in the room. ‘Oh my god. He’s gonna be ‘Not guilty,’ You know, ‘this sucks.’”

Michael says he and Natalia shared a moment after his acquittal. “We lock eyes,” Michael states. “She just looks at me and does like a little wave. A little wave back from me. And I mouthed something to her, and I think she was able to get it. I just simply said, ‘This is hard. I’m sorry.’”