Former parenting YouTuber Ruby Franke, known for her ‘8 Passengers’ YouTube channel, has been arrested on suspicion of child abuse. The arrest took place in Ivins, Utah after officials discovered a malnourished child with visible injuries. Franke’s business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, was also arrested on similar charges.
According to the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department, officials received a report of a child in need of assistance on Wednesday. The child was described as emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around the extremities. The child was taken to a local hospital, and another malnourished child was found in a nearby home and also taken to the hospital.
Following a search of the house, four children were placed in the care of the Department of Child and Family Services. An affidavit filed an officer revealed that Franke’s 12-year-old son had climbed out of a window and sought help from a neighbor, who then alerted the authorities. The neighbor had noticed duct tape on the child’s ankles and wrists. The other malnourished child taken to the hospital was Franke’s 10-year-old daughter.
A judge denied bail for Ruby Franke after a detective noted the severity of the injuries suffered her two children. Franke’s YouTube channel, ‘8 Passengers,’ had gained over two million subscribers since its inception in 2015 but disappeared from the site earlier this year.
The family’s strict parenting advice had received criticism in the past. In 2020, viewers reported the Franke family to child protective services after their son Chad claimed to have been sleeping on a beanbag for months. Franke explained that it was his choice after he stopped sharing a room with his younger brother due to concerns about behavior.
If found guilty of the allegations, Ruby Franke could face up to 15 years in prison. The definition of aggravated child abuse in Utah, the charge Franke faces, includes starvation, broken bones, head injuries, and suffocation.
Sources: [Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department, Instagram/@moms_of_truth, Page Six]