Ruby Franke is a mummy vlogger, known for her once-popular YouTube channel, 8 Passengers. The channel documented her family’s daily life with her six children – Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell and Eve and husband, Kevin.
Ruby has been criticised in the past for her strict parenting philosophy which she didn’t hide from the cameras or her fans. However, recently the mummy vlogger was arrested and charged with six counts of child abuse due to her inexcusable actions towards two of her children.
Ruby’s business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt is also facing the same charges. A press release from the attorney’s office claimed:
Each defendant is accused of causing or permitting serious physical injury to the victims in three different ways:
(1) a combination of multiple physical injuries or torture,
(2) starvation or malnutrition that jeopardizes life,
and (3) causing severe emotional harm.”
What did Ruby Franke do?
From what we’ve been told, two of Franke’s children were abused inside Jodi’s home in Utah. It is alleged that the 12-year-old and 10-year-old were tied up with duct tape and left alone.
Ruby’s 12-year-old son allegedly escaped the house through a window and ran to a neighbour’s home, asking for food and water, police said in a statement. The neighbour noticed the child had duct tape on his legs and arms.
‘Open wounds and duct tape around the extremities’
The neighbour then called police and officers arrived at the house, finding Ruby’s 10-year-old daughter “in a similar physical condition of malnourishment,” according to the statement.
Both children “appeared to be emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around the extremities” and were taken to a local hospital for treatment.
‘Trying to tell police for years about this’
It is unclear at this stage why the women tied Ruby’s children up or how long they were left like this. However, it would appear instances of abuse have been going on for a while now with Ruby’s oldest daughter, Shari Franke confirming this has been the case.
Shari Franke spoke out about her mum’s arrest, stating that this type of abuse has been happening for years now.
Today has been a big day,” Shari wrote on Instagram. “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.”
Shari also said on Instagram that the two siblings who were taken to the hospital are doing well. At this stage, the siblings are in the care of their father, Kevin Franke.
Mistreatment on YouTube channel
Ruby’s actions on her YouTube channel also suggest this type of abuse has been going on for years.
In 2020, Ruby received scrutiny that her parenting methods were far too harsh. Ruby and Kevin, who are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were accused of mistreating their children back then but no charges were laid.
One instance that garnered attention was when Ruby refused to bring her daughter’s lunch to school after she forgot to pack her own lunch. Another time she took away Christmas as a punishment for her young children being “selfish”.
She also made her son sleep on a beanbag chair after he played a prank on his brother and often withheld food from her kids as punishment.
After being told her methods were “abusive”, Ruby stopped sharing videos and turned to hosting a podcast with Jodi Hildebrandt. Her 8 Passengers channel has since been taken down and, since the charges were laid, Ruby has been permanently banned from the platform.
Jodi and Ruby’s podcast, “ConneXion” is also often scrutinised for being like a “cult” and for the frequent inclusion of what has been called homophobic, racist and transphobic comments.
Her parenting methods continue to be considered too strict and harsh. In one episode, Ruby shared that she believed children do not deserve and should not receive unconditional love.
Changes in the past year
As the two women face court, it will most likely become clear what exactly happened and why the children were found tied up.
One of Ruby’s neighbours shared a statement about Ruby and admitted that, at first, she appeared “friendly and engaging” but in the past year, her behaviour had changed.
She really started isolating her kids,” the neighbour said. “I think we saw some weird things. But I don’t think anybody thought that these kids were being physically abused to that degree.”
Washington County Sheriff’s Office jail records show both Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt are still in custody. It is unknown when they will face court.
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