The Utah State Attorney’s Office has filed two counts of child abuse against a YouTube mom of six and her business partner, both of whom are parenting and lifestyle gurus.
After receiving a call for assistance at 10:50 p.m. on Wednesday, Santa Clara police arrested and charged Ruby Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, who had just three days earlier uploaded a video to their channel called ConneXions discussing victimhood and responsibility.
Police found a child who “appeared malnourished and emaciated” and had “open wounds and duct tape around the extremities,” according to a news release issued by the department on Thursday.
Police stated the child’s condition was “so severe” that he or she was taken by ambulance to the hospital.
The police then investigated the home and found another youngster in the same condition, who was also taken to the hospital. The law enforcement officers also discovered items “consistent with markings on the juvenile.”
Both Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested when investigators executed a search warrant at the residence and freed four youngsters.
On Thursday, Franke’s daughter Shari shared an Instagram story in which a police car was parked in a suburban street next to the caption “Finally.” After that, Shari posted a message to her Instagram story.
“Hi everybody. “Today is a day I will never forget,” she wrote. My loved ones and I are relieved that justice is finally being done. We’re relieved that the authorities and CPS have taken action after our repeated pleas over the years. The children are safe, but there is much work to be done. Please remember them in your prayers, and give them some space.
Shari Franke, who is 20 years old, is the host of a lifestyle channel on YouTube where she discusses topics such as education, travel, and relationships.
Sisters of Ruby Franke also released a statement on Thursday, posting it to Instagram and explaining that they had “kept quiet” for three years “for the sake of her children.”
They claimed, “Behind the scenes, we’ve done everything we can to try to make sure the kids were safe,” and that the arrests of Ruby and Hildebrandt “needed to happen” and that “the kids are safe now.”
Previously known as Moms of Truth, YouTubers Ruby Franke and Hildebrandt ran a channel called ConneXions with the goal of helping their 4,650 subscribers “successfully navigate life.” Their newest film, published on Tuesday, is part of a series aimed at reducing feelings of helplessness.
Simply put, “victim” means “I abdicate responsibility,” as Franke explains in the film. Because I am a human being endowed with responsibility, and because I am free to exercise my agency and make my own choices, when I choose to abdicate my obligation, I place myself in the position of victim. Because I don’t want to be accountable for my actions, I make my home in the role of victim.
In videos posted before Hildebrandt joined the team, Franke rants about how her kids’ school is utilizing TikTok to teach things like dances, the perils of sleepovers, and bullying. Her husband appears in some of the videos, including a “live couples workshop” on money management.
Franke started ConneXions after the success of her YouTube parenting channel, “8 Passengers,” where she and her husband vlogged, or video-blogged, about their six children.
“Things can get crazy with six active kids, but we can find true joy in the journey if we love and support each other,” the channel’s description read before it was deleted.