Home Lifestyle Who is Ruby Franke? Everything we know about the family vlogger’s rise before child abuse accusations

Who is Ruby Franke? Everything we know about the family vlogger’s rise before child abuse accusations

Who is Ruby Franke?  Everything we know about the family vlogger’s rise before child abuse accusations

Ruby Franke, who once ran her own YouTube channel about the lives of her six children, has been placed under arrest for child abuse.

Franke first made headlines in 2015 for her controversial parenting advice that she shared on the YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” which featured her husband Kevin Franke and their children: Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell and Eve. The now-deleted channel was once popular, having accumulated more than two million subscribers before speculation and concern began to mount in 2020 regarding the family’s daily activities.

Two years later, the Utah-based mom announced she was joining a new YouTube channel called ConneXions — which has since been taken down — alongside Jodi Nan Hildebrandt. The couple also sparked controversy with their videos, including one in which they affirmed what it means to love children unconditionally.

The mother of six was arrested Wednesday after authorities said they discovered a malnourished minor with visible injuries and duct tape on his limbs. In a press release, the Santa Clara-Ivins Department of Public Safety explained that based on the evidence collected, officers went to a nearby residence where they discovered another juvenile in comparable condition.

Two of Franke’s children were taken to the hospital to receive medical treatment, according to court documents. These children, along with Franke’s other children, were placed in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.

Franke and his business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were scheduled to appear in court in St. George, Utah, on Friday afternoon, but the virtual hearing was delayed due to technical issues.

Both women were ordered held without bail. Their bond hearings are scheduled for September 21.

Since his arrest, Franke’s family, including his daughter, have made several statements about the situation, including saying they are “very happy that justice has been served.”

Here’s everything we know about Franke’s rise on YouTube — as a former family vlogger — and his arrest.

Who is Ruby Franke?

In January 2015, Franke first launched the YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” which highlighted his family’s life in Springville, Utah. A year after sharing the channel, she told local news station KSL that her page was a way for her to just “let [her] the heart rate goes down and I just enjoy being with the kids like they are right now.” She also said that as her children grew up, she gained an even broader view of why her family was so important.

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“I just want women who are still breastfeeding their babies, women who are still trying to start their families, women who aren’t sleeping through the night, to see what it looks like at the finish line, to see that there is “There’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s beautiful and it’s powerful and it’s worth it, it’s worth all the effort that families put into their families,” she said at the time.

After making headlines for her videos about her controversial parenting choices, which racked up millions of views, she later joined ConneXions, where she and Hildebrandt gave daily advice. The now-deleted YouTube channel, which Franke joined in June 2022, had over 4,800 subscribers, and the videos were also racking up thousands of views.

How did her parenting choices spark controversy online?

Following his rise to fame with “8 Passengers,” Franke drew criticism after saying in a video that one of his sons, Chad, had been sleeping in a beanbag for seven months, after pranking his brother. In June 2020, concerned viewers contacted local child protective services, with a Change.Org petition created to encourage a CPS investigation into “8 Passengers.”

Amid the backlash, Franke said Insider At the time, the sleeping arrangement was Chad’s “choice” after he stopped sharing a room with his younger brother due to behavioral issues. A letter from DCFS, seen by Insider, said the allegations were unsubstantiated and the case — which claimed Franke was the perpetrator — was closed.

In August 2022, she was also criticized for refusing to bring her six-year-old child lunch, after her daughter said she had packed food but had actually forgotten it. Franke alleged that she didn’t want anyone to feed her daughter lunch because she wanted the child to realize how “painful” it is to be hungry all day, so she would “make sure to always pack a lunch.”

“As a teacher, I would file a report if a parent had this reaction if I asked them to meet their basic needs,” one person responded to Franke’s comments, shared on TikTok..

“I hope it hurts all day.” No ma’am,” another commented, while a third wrote: “Kids can’t learn if they’re too hungry or tired!! Most schools offer a sandwich or something, even if you forget one or something.

Franke and Hildebrandt’s joint channel also sparked outrage. In December 2022, they shared a now-deleted video about “the concept of love” and gave examples in which they claimed children would not love their families unconditionally.

The Utah-based mother claimed that if her child doesn’t ‘love’ or ‘trust’ her, after giving her ‘the gift of truth’, then she ‘refuses to love unconditionally’ . She said: “If my child only loves me if I give him what he wants, then that’s not really love, is it? »

What charges were brought against Franke when he was arrested?

On Aug. 31, Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety said in a statement that it received a report of a “minor requesting assistance.” The caller told authorities the child appeared “emaciated” and “malnourished” and had open wounds and “duct tape around his extremities.”

After another child was found in “a similar physical state of malnutrition,” Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety said the Department of Children and Family Services was contacted and four minor children had been taken care of by the agency.

Along with Franke, Hildebrandt was also arrested. “Due to the sensitive nature of this matter, no additional information will be released at this time,” officials said in the statement.

Charging documents accuse the two women of causing or permitting serious injury to two of Franke’s children in three different ways, according to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office. This includes a combination of physical harm or torture; by life-threatening starvation or malnutrition; and causing serious emotional harm.

The alleged abuse is in addition to the six counts of aggravated child abuse each woman faces. Each count carries a sentence of 1 to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Springville Police Department records later revealed that authorities intervened at Franke’s home several times over the years, twice regarding the welfare of her children.

The most recent check occurred on September 18, 2022, when her daughter Shari Franke reported to police that her sisters and brother were left home alone for five days while her mother visited a friend in St. George, the Salt Lake Tribune reported, according to court documents.

The girl requested a welfare check on the children and asked police to make sure they had enough food “for the extended period.”

But when police arrived at the home, the children did not answer the door. They were able to see the children through the window.

There are several other reports from neighbors who said police video cameras installed on their property showed Franke’s car would be continuously missing for four days or more.

“Everyone who came to the scene was very concerned that they and the children were left alone at home,” a police officer wrote in a police report.

“[They] expressed great concern about the two youngest children being homeschooled while the older two attend public school. Mainly because it shows that they are home alone during the day and have no way of contacting emergency services if needed.

An earlier incident was reported on April 16, 2022, according to the documents, in which a DCFS caseworker alerted police that two unsupervised children were running in the street near Franke’s home in Springville. But the police officer who went to the house said he did not see any children in the street.

What did his family say about his arrest?

Following her mother’s arrest, Shari Franke, 20, made several statements on Instagram about the situation. She began by posting a photo of a police car and an officer, writing: “Finally.”

“My family and I are very happy that justice has been served,” she wrote in another post. “We have been trying to talk to the police and CPS about this for years, and we are very pleased that they have finally decided to intervene. The children are safe, but there is a long way to go.

Shari also created a document asking her followers to share “questionable” or “concerning” information about ConneXions or 8 Passengers.

Franke’s sisters, Ellie Mecham, Julie Deru and Bonnie Hoellein, released a statement saying that for the past three years they had remained “silent” about their siblings “for the sake of their children.”

They went on to say that they had done everything they could to keep the children safe.

The message read: “For the past three years we have remained silent about our sister Ruby Franke for the sake of her children. Behind the public stage, we have done everything we can to keep children safe. We wouldn’t be able to move forward with regular content without addressing the most recent events. Once we have done so, we will not comment further on this matter.


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