US couple accused of ditching adopted girl, moving to Canada

September 13, 2019 - 11:30 am

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Indiana prosecutors have charged a couple with abandoning their adopted daughter in 2013 and moving to Canada, renting an apartment in Lafayette for the then-11-year-old girl but otherwise leaving her to fend for herself.

Prosecutors in Tippecanoe County, where Lafayette is located, filed neglect charges Wednesday against 45-year-old Kristine Elizabeth Barnett and 43-year-old Michael Barnett. They had not been booked or arraigned as of Friday and online court records don't list an attorney for them.

The Journal & Courier reports that the couple have an address in Indianapolis, but it wasn't immediately clear if they live there or if they still live in Canada.

According to court documents, the couple adopted the girl, who has dwarfism, in 2010 when she was 8 years old. She had come to the U.S. through an adoption program two years earlier from her native Ukraine.

Prosecutors say that before abandoning the girl, the couple legally changed her age to 22 and told her to tell anyone who asked that she was that old.

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Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com

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