National News

Aug 14, 2014 12:52 PM by NBC News

Family's "joke" photos showing baby in roasting pan and with pacifier taped to her mouth trigger investigation

(WCMH) Authorities in Columbus, Ohio are investigating after photos of a 2-month-old Columbus girl with duct-tape across her pacifier sparked outrage on social media.

The photos were posted to Facebook Thursday, and by Friday, Franklin County Children Services was involved, interviewing the baby's grandmother, who took the photo.

One of the photos shows the infant in a pan used for cooking, next to potatoes, and another shows the baby with a pacifier duct-taped to her mouth.

"It was on 10, 15 seconds. Long enough to take a picture," she said.

The baby's mother said the photos were taken out of context, and were meant to be prop photos.

"We would never go out of our way to harm these children ever! Ever!" she said.

NBC4's Liz Adeola: "Can you understand why people would be concerned and think that it's something negative?"

Mom: "I really can't answer that because if you really look at the photo, you can see that the duct tape was barely touching her face."

The mother said she has two other children, and that all of them are in good health.

"My babies, they're perfect. I don't abuse them. I don't even whoop my children. It was just a prop photo. It was supposed to be funny and social media, Facebook blew it out of proportion," she said.

FCCS handed the case over to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, who said that with the high infant mortality rate in Franklin County, photos like the ones in question are no laughing matter.

"Taping, duct-taping a child's pacifier to their mouth, covering up their option to spit that pacifier out, give their airway, this is crazy. It's dangerous," said Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott.

Scott said that no criminal charges will be filed in the case, but detectives will turn over their findings to the prosecutor's office, who could cite the child's grandmother and mother on misdemeanor charges.

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