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Conflict & Tragedy

Parents' Facebook images prompt arrest for child abuse

People love to post everything about their lives on Facebook and Twitter, but there is a limit to what people should --- and should not --- post. While much of that time that sort of warning applies to, say, comments that might get you into trouble or drunken images, advertising criminal activity isn't the best idea either.

Frankie Almuina, 20, and Kayla Almuina, 19, were arrested on suspicion of two counts of child abuse on Wednesday at their northern Arizona home after being alerted to the photos by an anonymous tip. The tip came from a caller who saw Facebook posts including images of the couple's children, an infant and a toddler, bound with duct tape.

The children were a 2-year-old toddler and a 10-month-old infant. Not only were they bound with duct tape on their wrists and ankles, their mouths were taped shut, and one of the children was shown hanging upside down on an exercise machine.

Commander Rex Gilliland said, that the parents told authorities that the images, which were posted to Kayla Almuina's Facebook account, were meant as a joke and that the children were not harmed.

Unsurprisingly, the Facebook images are gone (or at least hidden by privacy controls). Surprisingly, the account is still there.

While the Almuina's claim the posts to be made in jest, it's hard to align that with images of children being duct-taped and hung upside down. Gilliland added "It's clear in our minds that these children were placed in a very extreme situation. By the look on their faces, they were in sheer terror. I don't know how this could have been a joke."

Investigators seized about a dozen similar photos from the couple's home north of Williams, Arizona, about 175 miles north of Phoenix. At least some of those images were not posted online.

As of late Thursday, the couple was still being held in a county jail. The children have been turned over to another family member, authorities said.