Ruby Franke, a former well-known mom influencer known for sharing parenting advice on Instagram and previously on the now-closed 8 Passengers YouTube channel, has been arrested and is facing two charges of aggravated child abuse in Ivins, Utah, according to official reports.
On Thursday, August 30, 2023, at approximately 10:50 a.m., the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department issued a press release reporting an incident. According to the statement, a concerned individual contacted their dispatch center, alerting them to a distressing situation involving a juvenile. The caller described the juvenile as severely undernourished and malnourished, with visible open wounds and duct tape wrapped around their limbs. The juvenile was reaching out for assistance, specifically requesting food and water.
Following the issuance of a search warrant for the residence in question, the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department announced that four children were placed under the care of the Department of Child and Family Services. Ruby Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were arrested in connection with the incident. The release emphasized the sensitive nature of the case, and no further details were disclosed at this time.
Local emergency medical services transported two of the children to a hospital due to their severe malnourishment, as reported by the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department.
Franke and Hildebrandt did not provide immediate comments. Both individuals were apprehended by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and charged with two counts of “aggravated child abuse – intentionally or knowingly,” according to the sheriff’s website.
In 2015, Franke launched the YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” featuring her husband Kevin and their six children. The channel primarily focused on parenting and homeschooling topics. The Franke family, adherents of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, had amassed nearly 2.3 million subscribers before the channel was removed from YouTube earlier this year for undisclosed reasons, as reported by NBC News. Additionally, Franke and Hildebrandt managed the Instagram account @moms_of_truth, boasting 341,000 followers.
Ruby Franke is a certified mental fitness trainer with ConneXions, where she contributes content to their social media platforms and podcasts, focusing on empowering parents and children to live truthfully. She is a wife and a mother of six children.
According to a report by People magazine, Ruby Franke’s eldest daughter, Shari Franke, who is 20 years old, shared in an Instagram Story post, “Hello everyone. Today has been a significant day for us. My family and I are relieved that justice is finally being served. We have been trying to communicate our concerns to the police and Child Protective Services (CPS) for years, and we’re grateful that they have now taken action.”