2 accused of abandoning adopted girl appear in Indiana court

A couple accused of abandoning their adopted daughter in an Indiana apartment and moving to Canada have made their first court appearance.

A Tippecanoe County judge entered not guilty pleas Friday on behalf 43-year-old Michael Barnett and 45-year-old Kristine Barnett. The Journal & Courier reports the now-divorced couple face two counts each of neglect.

Authorities say the couple adopted the girl in 2010, and a doctor who examined her that year estimated her age as 8 years old. The girl has dwarfism and is from the Ukraine. Before leaving for Canada in 2013, the couple legally changed her age to 22.

Kristine Barnett told the court Friday she’s retained an attorney who was unable to attend the hearing.

Michael Barnett’s attorney, Terrance Kinnard, asked prosecutors to clarify the allegations.

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