Why did the Barnetts suspect Natalia Grace wasn’t actually 6 years old?
The day after Natalia was adopted, Michael recounts on the show that Kristine went to bathe the girl and screamed when she saw that Natalia had pubic hair. Michael says he looked online to see if that was possible and read that pubic hair could show up in a girl as young as eight. He goes on to say, however, that he and his wife assumed this was a child who obviously needed love and compassion, and so it didn’t matter if she was a little older than they were told.
(Natalia told Dr. Phil in 2019 that she was 8, “maybe almost 9,” when the Barnetts adopted her.)
A few months later, Natalia told them she was on her period and withheld the evidence, says Michael. A family friend heard in an audio recording that Kristine had found stained socks that Natalia had used as sanitary napkins and then thrown out the window. “She said: ‘This is not normal, what have I gotten myself into?'” recalls the friend. “And so I said, ‘You need to find out how old she is.'”
Kimberley FranklinMichael’s younger sister, recalls on the show hearing that the Barnetts had found “time underwear” hidden in Natalia’s room.
Also within the first few months after adopting Natalia, the Barnetts arranged a play date with Natalia Elva Reyes‘ Daughter, Theresewho had the same type of rare dwarfism and was also 6 years old.
As Elva and Therese, now 14, recall on the show, it was pretty obvious to them that Therese and Natalia weren’t the same age when they pointed to pictures of the girls from 2010.