UPDATE: According to Capt. Bob Higginbotham, authorities at this time have no reason to believe that the immediate family is involved in the advertisement. "We continue to stress that the children are safe. It is our initial suspicion that this is an elaborate hoax that is unfortunately traumatizing the family," says Higginbotham.
Detectives at the Joplin Police department are following the digital trail as they investigate a Craigslist ad posted last week, offering three Chinese girls up for sale.
The ad was spotted by a concerned citizen who reported it to police who then handed it over to a computer forensic team.
"The case is still ongoing, detectives are doing their part, you know subpoenas, trying to get information and evaluate that, we are pretty confident the kids are safe no one is in danger at this point, we are trying to figure out where it originated from and complete our investigation," Sgt. Rusty Rives of JPD said.
Even a prank ad on Craiglist for human trafficking can be illegal and the creator of that ad could be prosecuted.
The ad has since been deleted from Craigslist.
KOAM - Licensed to Pittsburg, Kansas