A Tennessee family is under investigation following a disturbing photo that surface Friday on Facebook.
The image depicts two children, a boy and a girl, with their wrists and mouths duct taped. The photo caption reads, “Kids for sale, 45% off because they bad.”
Now, the family is calling the post a joke, but the Memphis Police Department did not take it as such.
In the photo, in the oldest child appears to have tears in her eyes.
The photo was posted by Facebook user Jaton Justsilly Jaibabi, who has since deactivated the account, WMC-TV reported.
Other state departments are aiding the MPD in the investigation.
"That's wrong. That's no joke. It's nothing to play with. I find it offensive," a Trezevant High School student that lives nearby told WMC-TV.
"I could not breathe. It took my breathe away; caused extreme emotional distress. These are children. These are human beings," a parent told WMC-TV.
Although the police and many parents were shocked by the photo, the Jaibabi's cousin, Derion King, said the post was nothing more than a practical joke.
King’s message to WMC-TV message read, in part, "Basically a joke at the moment that people just went overboard about. People make mistakes and that's what this situation is, a lesson learned. They are safe, unharmed, and loved. That's all it is to it."
MPD said they opened an investigation after WMC-TV notified them of the photo Thursday night.
The Tennessee Department of Children's Services told the news station that they limited information at the moment and will do more research before investigating the family.