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Man in photos identified, police explain situation

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UPDATE

The following is an update from the Idaho Falls Police Department spokeswoman Jessica Clements.

Monday evening, we received a message from a concerned member of our community about a video that she received through Facebook Messenger. The video depicts a man physically abusing an infant and is quite disturbing. Based on the video, it was unclear when or where this abuse had occurred or may still be occurring. Initial searches by the staff on hand late on a Monday night did not yield further information about the video.

Due to the nature of what is depicted in the video, it was decided that the most pressing priority was to make every effort to identify the man and child as quickly as possible. One of the powers of modern news and social media is the ability to quickly share information. We have had significant success in harnessing our social media audiences to identify suspects, victims, and other people who need our officers’ and community’s help.

Ultimately, we have now learned that the man and child in this video are not from our area. In fact they are from another country. The video first surfaced on social media a little over a month ago, and after public outcry the man was identified and ultimately arrested by officials in that country. The child is now in the care of other family members. For whatever reason, it appears that quite a few people in our area have received this video within the last couple days and were understandably concerned.

We would like to thank members of the public who reported this video, who shared the information, and made other efforts to assist in the identification of this man and child. As evidenced by the comments on social media, many people had seen the video and were disturbed by the content- many of whom did not know where or when the video was recorded.

If that had been a child in our community, currently in need of help … perhaps it is better to share the message and find out they’re from another country, rather than risk the possibility of letting down a child within our reach that currently needed our help. Knowing the kind of community we live in, we hope that others understand and share that feeling.

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