Famous Mom Influencer of 6 Arrested for Horrific Child Abuse Allegations

Ruby Franke, a well-known YouTube vlogger, and her business associate, Jodi Hildebrandt, have been apprehended on charges of severe child abuse. Franke, who gained popularity through her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” and Hildebrandt, the founder of the mental health company “Connexions Classroom,” were arrested following a distressing incident involving Franke’s children.

The incident came to light when one of Franke’s children escaped from a residence in Ivins, Utah, owned by Hildebrandt. The child, with duct tape on their wrists and ankles, sought refuge at a neighbor’s house, prompting a call to the police. The 12-year-old child was found to be severely malnourished and had multiple injuries, leading to their hospitalization at St. George Regional Hospital.

Upon further investigation, the police discovered another child, a 10-year-old girl, in Hildebrandt’s home. Initially, the girl refused medical attention but later consented. She was also found to be malnourished and was treated at a local hospital.

Franke and Hildebrandt, who often promoted family values in their videos, were believed to be aware of the alleged abuse and neglect. Hildebrandt, who was in direct care of the children, reportedly made statements suggesting she was cognizant of the abuse.

Franke’s eldest daughter, Shari Franke, had previously spoken about her estrangement from her family, citing her parents’ extreme methods. The “8 Passengers” channel, which featured Franke, her husband, and their six children, had over 2 million followers before it was taken down. The channel had faced criticism and allegations of child abuse in the past.

In a recent Instagram post, Shari Franke expressed relief at the arrest of her mother and Hildebrandt, stating that she and her family had been trying to alert the authorities for years. She also requested viewers to share any concerning videos from “Connexions” or “8 Passengers.”

The arrest of Franke and Hildebrandt followed a distressing incident where a child, allegedly abused and starved, escaped from Hildebrandt’s residence and sought help from a neighbor. The child was found to be malnourished and had open wounds, leading to their hospitalization. Another child was found in a similar condition in the same residence.

The Department of Child and Family Services was alerted about the case, leading to a joint investigation with the Springville Police Department. As a result, four children were removed from Franke’s custody and placed under the care of the Department of Child and Family Services.