- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Antwon, who became Natalia’s guardian in 2013 along with his wife, Cynthia Mans, was arrested that year for “knowingly or intentionally [exerting] unauthorized control” over mousetraps taken from a Payless store in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, on or around November 30, 2013, according to court documents obtained by In Touch. Conversion, separate from offense of theft in the state of Indiana, applies to situations where the charged person had the intention of returning the stolen property.
The pastor pleaded no contest and completed a diversion, which included paying a fee of $325 within 60 days of filing the agreement, maintaining good and lawful behavior, avoiding consumption of alcohol and controlled substances and submitting to and paying for random alcohol and drug screens. He was also required to appear in court on June 1, 2015, to show proof of completing all diversion terms and paying the necessary fees. Antwon’s file was then closed upon completion of the agreement.
Antwon and Cynthia met Natalia, 22, in 2013 after the Ukraine native’s former adoptive parents, Michael and Kristine Barnett, rented her an apartment in Lafayette, Indiana, and left her behind as they moved to Canada with their three biological sons. Michael and Kristine adopted Natalia in 2010, believing that she was 6 years old at the time. However, mature features on her body led the former spouses to suspect that Natalia was an adult using her rare form of dwarfism, called spondyloepiphyseal dysplasia congenita (SEDc), to pose as a child and scam them. They further alleged that she made several threats and attempts to kill them.
After two years of living with Natalia, Michael and Krisitne petitioned to have her birth year legally changed from 2003 to 1989, which would have made her 23 years old in 2012. Though Natalia was legally an adult when she moved into her apartment in Lafayette, her disability made it difficult to live on her own. She befriended Antwon and Cynthia, who recognized her struggles and believed that she really was a child.
Michael and Kristine faced charges of neglect of a dependent in 2019, but all charges were dropped by March 2023. Meanwhile, Natalia moved in with Antwon and Cynthia.
As seen in her Investigation Discovery docuseries, The Curious Case of Natalia Grace: Natalia Speaks, the Mans legally adopted Natalia — who proved with a DNA test that she was 22 years old as of 2023 — last year. However, what seemed like a happy ending took a turn when producers revealed that they received a shocking phone call from Antwon and Cynthia just two weeks before the doc’s finale on January 3.
“Something ain’t right with Natalia. This girl is tweakin’,” Antwon said on the call. “I feel like she’s the enemy in the house. And she said to us, we have held her hostage. Made us look like we’re the enemy.”
Cynthia added that Natalia was “stabbing her family in the back over a complete lie.”
“Natalia does not have emotions for nothing but herself. We’re done. We’re done with her,” Antwon concluded.
The finale did not reveal what exactly Natalia had allegedly done to the Mans, but it teased that her story would continue. Natalia has since spoken out to say that she is “okay and doing well.” Additionally, Cynthia confirmed on January 9 that Natalia was no longer living with her and Antwon, but she reassured fans that they were working things out.
“We are absolutely perfect. No, she doesn’t live with us but we are fine,” Cynthia told The U.S. Sun. “It’s rough but with God, we gonna make it. I am in prayer.”
Reporting by Nate Grant