CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Popular Utah YouTuber Ruby Franke arrested for child abuse

Aug 31, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: 12:04 pm

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah -- Ruby Franke, mother and creator of the popular YouTube channel 8 Passeng...

YouTube announced Tuesday that it will start removing false claims about cancer treatments as part of an ongoing effort to build out its medical misinformation policy.(Credit: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty Images)

(Credit: Mateusz Slodkowski/SOPA/LightRocket/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Utah — Ruby Franke, mother and creator of the popular YouTube channel “8 Passengers” was arrested on Wednesday. She has been accused of two counts of intentionally or knowingly abusing her children.

The probable cause report states that Franke was arrested after one of her children escaped from Jodi Hildebrandt’s home through the window. Hildebrandt is the founder of “ConneXions,” a parent counsel service joined by Franke in mid-2022.

Hildebrandt was arrested alongside Franke for child abuse. 

Franke’s child is said to have left Hildebrandt’s home and knocked on a neighbor’s door, requesting food and water. According to the report, the neighbor called the police after they saw duct tape on the child’s wrists and ankles.

Law enforcement arrived on the scene and determined the child’s wound and malnourishment to be “severe.” 

The child was transported to the hospital and placed on medical hold “due to his deep lacerations from being tied up with rope and from his malnourishment,” according to the report. 

A second count of child abuse was issued after another child of hers at Hildebrant’s residence was found to be malnourished and taken to the hospital.

Court documents said that YouTube videos placed Franke in Hildebrant’s house with her children near the time of the abuse.

“This observation adds to Ms. Franke … being present in the home and having knowledge of the abuse, malnourishment, and neglect,” the report stated. 

Due to Franke’s alleged knowledge of the abuse, the charges were enhanced to a second-degree felony. The report requested she be held without bail due to the severity of her children’s injuries. 

The Utah Division of Child and Family Services has taken four of Franke’s children into custody. 

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Popular Utah YouTuber Ruby Franke arrested for child abuse