39The Curious Case of Natalia Grace39 revelations and a twist.webp

'The Curious Case of Natalia Grace' revelations and a twist that ends this shocking production

“The Curious Case of Natalia Grace”: This is how you can watch the ID documentaries online for free

“The Curious Case of Natalia Grace”

Investigative discovery

The second season of ID's “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace” ended on Wednesday night with a surprise ending that left audiences with even more questions about the story of Ukrainian orphan Natalia Grace.

The six-part series “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks” is a sequel to the 2023 docuseries that focused on Natalia's adoptive parents Kristine and Michael Barnett and their claim that the child who was diagnosed with the rare dwarfism disorder spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita was actually an adult woman who terrorized her family from 2010 to 2013.

Over the course of the three-day special, Natalia tells her side of the story as she tries to find answers to her own questions about her true age and why no one in the Indiana community where she claims she has actually fallen victim to the Barnetts' disease intervened, including Michael, whom she meets in person for the first time in the final two episodes of the series.

But the series ends with an unexpected phone call. “Our series was already finished and wrapped, but we immediately mobilized with our producers to ensure this shocking development was included in our finale,” ID President Jason Sarlanis tells .

Here are five revelations from The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks.

Natalia is biologically 22

The first episode of the series answers the biggest question surrounding Natalia's identity: her true age. TruDiagnostic, a medical laboratory specializing in biological aging, determined that Natalia was 22 years old based on a blood sample. The number agrees with Dr. Timothy Gossweiler, a dentist who determined that Natalia was between 6 and 9 years old when Kristine brought her to him in 2011. She also refutes Natalia's legal age of 34, which stems from Barnett's successful request in Marion County Court in 2012 to amend her birth certificates to show a 1989 birth date.

Kristine's three-pronged plan

The series attempts to answer the question of Barnett's motives for wanting the world to believe that Natalia was an adult woman when they adopted her in 2010, claiming that Kristine tried to exploit her adopted daughter in the same way, how she had her older son Jacob, an autistic child, a miracle. When Kristine realized she couldn't capitalize on Natalia, who experts rated as having average intelligence, the same way she had with Jacob – which included a $600,000 advance for her 2013 book “The Spark” about his academic achievements and included an upcoming film deal in which she was to be portrayed by Rosamund Pike – legal expert Beth Karas suggests that Kristine then hatched a three-pronged plan to remove Natalia from her home.

The first step, Karas suggests, was to age Natalia so that the Barnetts would no longer be legally responsible for her. However, since Natalia was still addicted due to her genetic disorder, Kristine looked for a way to confine Natalia to either a prison or a psychiatric facility. In 2011, Kristine claimed that Natalia tried to poison her coffee with a cleaning product and threatened to kill her family several times, which Natalia refutes. The incident resulted in Natalia being admitted to Indiana State's Larue Carter Psychiatric Hospital in June 2012. However, when the psychiatric facility determined that Natalia was not mentally unstable, she was sent to a halfway house. According to Michael, he and his wife later picked up Natalia after she told Kristine that she was scared and living with drug addicts.

The Strange Case of Natalia Grace

Kristine Barnett with Natalia Grace and her children in a family photo from “The Curious Case of Natalia Grace.” ID

“Kristine says, 'We have to get her because if something happens to her, I'm famous, and if they find Kristine Barnett's daughter dead of a drug overdose… I'm famous,'” he told producers. Michael gives a similar answer later in the series when Natalia asks why he and Kristine didn't return her to the state for re-adoption, claiming that Kristine was worried about appearance.

In 2013, the Barnetts left Natalia alone in an apartment and moved to Canada with their three biological sons. After a five-year investigation, they were charged in 2019 with multiple counts of neglect of a dependent. But in 2022, Michael was found not guilty on all four counts: neglect of a dependent, neglect of a dependent resulting in bodily harm, and neglect of a dependent resulting in serious bodily injury, and conspiracy to neglect a dependent. A year later, the charges against Kristine were dropped.

Natalia's abuse allegations

Contrary to Barnett's claims that Natalia threatened to harm them on multiple occasions, Natalia describes a series of alleged abuses by Kristine, including being pepper sprayed in the eyes twice. In another case, Natalia claims Kristine tried to give her an overdose by forcing her to take three times the recommended dose of one of her medications, which caused her to become dizzy and pass out. Natalia also describes how Kristine once forced her to insert a tampon when she was just 7 years old. The incident caused Natalia to bleed, which Kristine later used as evidence of her aging again, claiming she was already menstruating.

Natalia may have been a victim of human trafficking in Ukraine

Part of the mystery surrounding Natalia's age has to do with the lack of a Ukrainian birth certificate. A sewage spill at the hospital where Natalia was born resulted in her adoption documents being lost. And according to FBI Special Agent Kenneth J. Maxwell, just a month later, the judge in charge of Natalia's adoption case was fired for corruption and her birth certificates were lost. In interview footage with Natalia's biological mother, Anna Cava, who was denied her parental rights due to her child's condition, she says she never wrote to her daughter or visited her because she didn't know where she was and was only told that she had been resettled in the United States. In separate 2014 interview footage with an FBI child crime investigator, Natalia reveals that while she was still in Ukraine, she was touched inappropriately by a man who placed something on her face. “Would I be surprised that Natalia was given to other people for nefarious reasons, perhaps for human trafficking? “Nothing would surprise me,” said retired FBI special agent Veronica Maxwell.

Natalia's family problems are not over yet

Perhaps the show's most shocking detail was revealed in the final 90 seconds of the season two finale, when Natalia's new adoptive parents, Bishop Antwon Mans and his wife Cynthia, claim that their daughter is now wreaking havoc in their lives. One of the series' final scenes shows the family tearfully embracing each other as a judge declares Natalia legally adopted by the Man family, who have been by her side throughout the series. Bishop Man even stood up to Michael in defense of Natalia during a tense first sit-down attempt. However, six months after the farewell and just two weeks before the series premiered, the Man's contacted the show's producers in a state of excitement.

“There’s something wrong with Natalia,” Bishop Man is heard saying in an audio clip. “This girl pinches. I feel like she is the enemy of the house. And she told us we held her hostage.”

Cynthia supports her husband's claims, saying, “Natalia stabs her family in the back over a complete lie,” to which the bishop adds, “We're done. We're done with her.”

ID hasn't yet announced any official plans for a third season of The Curious Case of Natalia Grace, but it did provide a behind-the-scenes look at the twist ending – which certainly invites more of the story to be told.

“Natalia Speaks is one of those projects where the more we delved, the more twists we discovered,” Jason Sarlanis, president of Turner Networks, ID & HLN, Linear and Streaming, tells THR. “We really thought Natalia had found a happy ending with her new family, so you can imagine we were all deeply shocked when that call came from the Mans.”

He continued: “Our series was already finished and concluded, but we immediately mobilized with our producers to ensure this shocking development was included in our finale.” Our viewers are so engrossed in Natalia's case that we feel felt our series needed to reflect the ever-changing truth of their situation. One thing has always been confirmed in Natalia’s story: nothing is as it seems.”