A man who apparently posted a troubling image of a passed-out girl onto Twitter and made a sick rape joke - enraging thousands online - is to be investigated by police in Georgia.
Identified only as RichlonelyJuan on social media, the Twitter user sparked the controversy at 1.09 am on January 1 when he posted a photograph of what seems to be a girl lying on her back covered in vomit and added that he and his brother were going to sexually assault her.
The disturbing picture and shocking threat quickly traveled around the Internet and despite RichlonelyJuan's insistence that the whole thing was a joke that got out of hand, authorities have confirmed that they will be conducting a thorough investigation.
In tweets immediately after his first, RichlonelyJuan, whose identity has not yet been confirmed, even tried to insinuate that the girl had stopped breathing and no longer had a pulse.
As he became inundated with concerned people asking whether this was actually occurring live on Twitter, the bad joker tried to claim some honor among thieves and questioned why he would ever turn himself in.
Another Twitter user TaBarius then popped up online and posted a picture of a girl who looked like the poor individual covered in vomit.
This girl however was dressed and asleep, albeit curled up in a fetal position.
Taking to Twitter, Tabarius said 'I changed her clothes...shes sleeping piecefully (sic) for now..'
After that around 3.26 am, his tweets became ominous and as he claimed the girl was trapped in the trunk of his car and asked his Twitter followers to retweet if he should let her live and favorite for him to kill.
However, it seems that the entire episode was a very bad joke played out online by Tabarius and RichlonelyJuan - one that spiraled out of control.
Taking to social media during the day on January 1 to claim that he had found the picture online and that the entire episode was a joke - RichlonelyJuan still had to defend himself from those who did not find the situation amusing.
One woman fired back at him to remind him of the case of Justine Sacco, who was fired from her job last month for making an inappropriate joke about HIV and her race before she boarded a flight to South Africa.
Another hoped that his bad-taste sense of humor would follow him in his professional life.
According to Buzzfeed, Dana Pierce, a public information officer for Cobb County said the police department did not have the names of the men who posted the photographs.
'How are we going to find them?' asked Pierce. 'We could find their IP addresses, but we’re not going to do that on New Years Day… They [the detectives] will probably really sink their teeth into the case tomorrow.'
While saying they had been contacted by a member of the public who assured them there was no truth behind the grim picture, Pierce said that police would continue to investigate.
'The alleged incident that has gone viral is not a crime. We need a lot more evidence to prove that this happened.'