Authorities have charged family vlogger Ruby Franke on multiple counts of felony child abuse. She is the founder of the now-defunct YouTube channel 8 Passengers. Alongside Franke, her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, faces similar charges. Officials are now holding them at the Utah County Jail, per KUTV.
Reportedly, both women were first booked into Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility on August 30, 2023. This happened after one of Franke’s children left Hildebrandt’s home in Ivins. The 12-year-old boy walked to a neighbor’s house “emaciated” and “covered in wounds,” asking for food and water. Police also found Franke’s 10-year-old daughter in “a similar physical condition of malnourishment” inside Hildebrandt’s home.
In October 2023, officials transferred the alleged abusers back to Utah County where they remain in custody.
When is Ruby Franke’s court appearance?
Ruby Franke, 41, who once ran the now-defunct 8 Passengers YouTube channel, faces six felony counts of aggravated child abuse. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that police arrested Franke and her podcasting partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, 54, on suspicion of child abuse on August 30, 2023. The latter faces similar charges.
Hildebrandt’s neighbors called 911 when Franke’s 12-year-old son escaped the former’s Ivins house and arrived at their doorstep asking for food and water. The outlet reported that the boy allegedly had duct tape on his wrists and ankles. Police later found the vlogger’s 10-year-old daughter malnourished in the same house.
Franke’s last public hearing was on September 18, 2023. Then, in mid-October, Juvenile Court Judge Suchada P. Bazzelle restricted media and the public from all future court hearings. Moreover, KUTV reported that no upcoming hearings are scheduled for the child abuse case. Franke will now appear in her family welfare case. This is unrelated to the felony child abuse case involving her and Hildebrandt.
According to People Magazine, the 41-year-old gained prominence on YouTube via her channel 8 Passengers. The family’s channel accumulated about 2.5 million viewers but stopped vlogging in 2022. Following this, the mother-of-six joined Hildebrandt’s ConneXions podcast. Using this platform, both women then began sharing controversial parenting advice on their social media pages called Moms of Truth.