What happened to Ruby Franke? Family YouTuber arrested for child abuse as two kids hospitalized

8 passengers mom Ruby Franke arrestedYouTube: 8 passengers

Ruby Franke, the mother of popular family vlogger channel 8 Passengers, was arrested on August 30 on suspicion of aggravated child abuse which led to two of her kids being sent to hospital.

Ruby Franke is best known for her previous family channel, 8 Passengers, where the family vlogged their lives and posted fun videos on YouTube that often went viral.

However, on August 30, 2023, Fox13 reported that “8 Passengers” mother Ruby Franke was arrested, along with Jodi Hildebrandt, founder of the parent counseling service ConneXions, for two counts of aggravated child abuse.

Article continues after ad

The New York Times reported that Franke’s 12-year-old son climbed out a window at Hildebrandt’s home and went to a neighbor’s house on Wednesday morning, asking for food and water. The child had duct tape on his ankles and wrists, as well as open wounds. He appeared to be emaciated and malnourished, according to the affidavit.

The neighbor then went on to call the police, who soon found Franke’s 10-year-old daughter in the same house. She was also described as malnourished.

Article continues after ad

Both children were taken to a hospital. The boy was placed on a medical hold “due to his deep lacerations from being tied up with rope and from his malnourishment,” according to the affidavit.

A search of Hildebrandt’s home found evidence “consistent with the markings” found on the 12-year-old, the police said in a statement. The police contacted the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, and a total of four children were taken into its care.

Article continues after ad

Both Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested and have been in custody ever since.

ruby-franke-connexionsYouTube: ConneXions
Jodi Hildebrandt and Ruby Franke are both currently in custody following aggravated child abuse charges

Ruby Franke denied bail amid child abuse charges

On Thursday, 31 August, a judge denied bail for both Franke and Hildebrandt because of “the severity of the injuries of her two kids located in the home,” according to court records.

In response to hearing about her mother’s arrest, Franke’s eldest daughter Shari, 20, posted about her mother’s arrest to her Instagram Story on Wednesday night, NBC reported. Shari Franke, who previously posted that she was not in contact with her immediate family, shared an image of police officers with the caption: “Finally.”

Article continues after ad

She soon followed up with another Instagram Story post where she wrote: “Hi all. Today has been a big day. Me and my family are so glad justice is being served. We’ve been trying to tell the police and CPS for years about this, and so glad they finally decided to step up.”

“Kids are safe, but there’s a long road ahead,” she continued in her post. “Please keep them in your prayers and also respect their privacy.”

Article continues after ad

Ruby Franke court case gets closed to the public

On October 11, a Utah judge issued an order to seal all hearings and documents in the Ruby Franke child welfare case. This decision came after sensitive information about the children involved was mistakenly shared with the public, according to court documents.

During a pretrial hearing on September 18, Utah’s Fourth District Juvenile Court allowed media to attend but prohibited photography. Media allegedly took unauthorized photos outside, which were later used in news reports, as per court documents.

Article continues after ad

This behavior ultimately led to the judge’s decision, citing the difficulty in balancing media interest, court transparency, and child privacy.

Ruby Franke remained incarcerated in southern Utah on felony child abuse charges.

We will keep this story updated with the latest details as the situation unfolds.

Related Topics