Cousin: Photo of Bound, Gagged Babies Just 'a Joke'
Memphis police were investigating
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2016 12:31 PM CDT

(Newser) – A disturbing photograph posted on Facebook has prompted a police investigation in Memphis, Tenn. The picture shows two young children, one of them with tears in her eyes, bound and gagged with duct tape. The caption reads: "Kids for sale, 45% off because they bad." The Facebook user who posted it goes by the name Jaton Justsilly Jaibabi but has since deactivated the account, reports WMC-TV, which sent the photo to the Memphis Police Department last week, prompting the investigation.

A man who says he's a cousin of the person who posted the photo wrote a defiant message on Facebook Friday insisting that the incident was "basically a joke at the moment that people just went overboard about." In the comments, he adds that the children "were laughing." (In an earlier post about the incident on his Facebook page, he admits in the comments, "yea the joke prolly was a lil harsh.") On Monday, Fox 13 Memphis reported that the Memphis PD located the children and they are not harmed, and that no charges have yet been filed. It's not clear if any will be, but locals contacted by the TV stations are incensed: "It's child abuse, hands down child abuse," one tells Fox. (This has happened before.)