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Shocking Development: 8 Passengers Mom Ruby Franke Arrested on Child Abuse Charges



Shocking Development: 8 Passengers Mom Ruby Franke Arrested on Child Abuse Charges

YouTube Vlogger Ruby Franke and Business Partner Arrested for Alleged Aggravated Child Abuse

IVINS, Utah — Ruby Franke, the once-famous YouTube vlogger known for the now-defunct “8 Passengers” channel, which showcased her family’s daily life, and her current business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, have been taken into custody on charges of alleged aggravated child abuse.

The arrest stemmed from a distressing incident in Ivins, Utah, where one of Ruby Franke’s children managed to escape from a residence owned by Hildebrandt and sought help from a neighbor. The child had duct tape on their wrists and ankles, and their dire condition prompted the neighbor to contact the authorities.

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Upon arriving at the scene, the police discovered a 12-year-old child who was severely malnourished and had sustained multiple injuries, attributed to being tied up with rope and malnutrition. This child was promptly hospitalized at St. George Regional Hospital for medical attention.

Furthermore, law enforcement found another child, a 10-year-old girl, at Hildebrandt’s residence. Initially hesitant to receive care, she eventually consented and was also found to be suffering from malnutrition, leading to her hospitalization.

Hildebrandt is the founder of the mental health company “Connexions Classroom,” in which Ruby Franke is listed as a business partner and a “certified mental fitness trainer.”

Recent evidence indicates that Franke appeared in a YouTube video filmed in Hildebrandt’s basement, posted just two days before their arrest, raising suspicions that she was aware of the alleged abuse and neglect.

Police investigations further suggest that Hildebrandt was directly responsible for the children’s care and was aware of the abuse. Allegedly, she made statements to law enforcement indicating that the children should never be allowed to interact with other kids, reinforcing the belief that she was complicit in the abuse.

Franke and Hildebrandt had previously featured in videos that promoted family values. Hildebrandt’s stated mission, according to her website, is to encourage healing and personal growth through honesty, responsibility, and humility.

Ruby Franke’s eldest daughter, 20-year-old Shari Franke, has been featured on other YouTube channels discussing her estrangement from her family and her reasons for no longer communicating with her parents. She cited extreme parenting methods as a key factor in her decision.

The “8 Passengers” YouTube channel, which has since been removed, once boasted over 2 million followers and featured content about Ruby Franke, her husband, and their six children. YouTube has not yet issued a response regarding the channel.

In spring 2020, the Franke family faced criticism and allegations of child abuse after several videos raised concerns. One video showed their 15-year-old son sleeping on a beanbag for months after his bedroom was allegedly taken away due to behavioral issues. Additionally, another episode featured Ruby Franke declining to bring her 6-year-old daughter lunch after she forgot her packed meal for school.

On Wednesday, Shari Franke shared a photo on Instagram featuring police officers with the caption “Finally,” suggesting her relief at the arrests.

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