YouTuber’s Arrest Shines Light on Alarming Child Abuse Allegations
Ruby Franke, a well-known social media influencer and former creator of the family YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” has been arrested on child abuse charges in Utah. The arrest followed the discovery of a malnourished minor with open wounds and duct tape on their extremities in a case that has garnered widespread attention.
Franke’s business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, also faces similar child abuse charges and was arrested alongside Franke. The duo frequently collaborated on relationship and parenting advice videos for Hildebrandt’s life counseling service, ConneXions. The service has faced previous criticism for its teachings on parenting, which some have perceived as prioritizing “principles of truth” over the well-being of children.
The incident came to light when a child fled from Hildebrandt’s residence, seeking food and water from a neighbor. The concerned neighbor noticed duct tape on the child’s ankles and wrists and promptly contacted the authorities. The child’s condition was deemed severe, prompting immediate medical attention and hospitalization.
A Utah woman who gave online parenting advice via a once popular YouTube channel has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated child abuse after her malnourished son escaped out a window and ran to a nearby house for help, authorities said. https://t.co/GkIPFeVoVe
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 1, 2023
Subsequent investigations revealed another child in the same residence, also suffering from malnourishment and a similar physical condition. Evidence consistent with the markings found on the first child was discovered by the police.
The Department of Child and Family Services was alerted, and, in collaboration with the Springville Police Department, four minor children were placed under the care of the Department of Child and Family Services.
Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt remain in custody, facing aggravated child abuse charges. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is overseeing the legal proceedings.
Ruby Franke’s 8 Passengers YouTube channel has garnered significant attention and viewership in the past. However, it had been criticized for her parenting methods, including one video where she refused to provide lunch to her 6-year-old daughter as a form of teaching a lesson.
The Franke family has made headlines before for their online presence, and this recent incident has brought renewed focus on their activities.