Mormon YouTube momfluencer arrested on charges of child abuse after 2 children found starved, injured

The child "appeared to be emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around extremities." 


On Wednesday, 41-year-old YouTuber mom Ruby Franke was arrested for child abuse after police found two juvenile children at her home that "appeared to be emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around extremities." 

According to a press release by the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department in Washington County, Utah, it received a call from a dispatcher around 10:50 am regarding a juvenile asking for help. "The juvenile was asking for food and water," the statement said. 

"The conditions were so severe that they were seen by Santa Clara-Ivins EM and transported to a local area hospital," it continued. Police received information that there may be other juveniles at a nearby home, and upon searching the residence they found another child in a similar condition who was also treated and transported to the hospital.

The statement noted that the Department of Child and Family Services was contacted and four minor children were taken into custody. Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt were both arrested in connection to the child abuse. 

According to the Daily Mail, Franke hosted a YouTube channel called "8 Passengers" which documented life with her husband Kevin and six children. She became known for her strict parenting style, but quit uploading videos in January 2022 after the channel had gained more than 2.2 million subscribers. Variety noted that Franke and Hildebrant also ran the @moms_of_truth Instagram account together, which has over 341,000 followers. 

In one episode, she explained how she let her child go hungry at school so that she would not forget to pack a lunch again. "My hope [is that] she will be hungry and come home and be like 'That was really painful being hungry all day I'll make sure to always have a lunch with me,'" she said. 

Upon the announcement of Franke's arrest her eldest daughter Shari, 20, wrote in a post on social media, "Today has been a big day. Me and my family are so glad justice is being served." She continued, "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. Please keep them in your prayers and also respect their privacy."

Franke's sisters Ellie Mecham, Bonnie Hoellein, and Julie Deru posted a statement to their Instagram accounts suggesting they knew about the abuse for three years but "kept quiet on the subject of our sister Ruby Franke for the sake of her children." The statement continued, "Behind the public scene we have done everything we could to try and make sure the kids were safe." 

"Ruby was arrested which needed to happen. Jodi was arrested which needed to happen. The kids are now safe, which is the number one priority," they concluded. 

Franke's husband Kevin said he is "trying to keep his children together." 

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