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. She was arrested after a malnourished minor with open wounds and duct tape on their extremities was discovered, causing widespread attention.
Franke’s business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, was also arrested on similar child abuse charges. The two often collaborated on relationship and parenting advice videos for Hildebrandt’s life counseling service, ConneXions. This service has faced criticism in the past for its teachings on parenting, which some believe prioritize “principles of truth” over the well-being of children.
The incident came to light when a child escaped from Hildebrandt’s home and sought help from a neighbor for food and water. The concerned neighbor noticed duct tape on the child’s ankles and wrists and immediately contacted the authorities. The child’s condition was severe, leading to 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 malnourished child in the same residence with similar physical conditions. The police found evidence consistent with the markings found on the first child.
The Department of Child and Family Services was alerted, and in cooperation with the Springville Police Department, four minor children were placed under their care.
Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt are currently in custody, facing charges of aggravated child abuse. The legal proceedings are being overseen by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
Ruby Franke’s YouTube channel, 8 Passengers, has gained significant attention and viewership in the past. However, her parenting methods have drawn criticism, including one video where she refused to give lunch to her 6-year-old daughter as a lesson.
The Franke family has previously made headlines due to their online presence, and this recent incident has once again brought attention to their activities.