Sister of Ruby Franke Reveals Her ‘Complete Shock’ After Mommy Blogger’s Child-Abuse Arrest
Ruby Franke, a mother of six, and her podcasting partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, a mother of two, are accused of abusing two of Franke’s children, ages 12 and 10.
Three years ago, Ruby Franke had one of the most popular channels on YouTube with over 2.5 million subscribers.
Today, the 41-year-old mommy blogger is being held without bail awaiting trial on six counts of aggravated felony child abuse.
Her world came crashing down when her 12-year-old son escaped out the window of their Utah home and ran to a neighbor for help.
“He's emaciated, he's got tape around his legs. He's hungry and he's thirsty,” that neighbor said when she contacted authorities.
A police investigation into the matter led to the arrest of both Franke, a mother of six, and her podcasting partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, a mother of two.
The women are accused of abusing that 12-year-old boy who escaped as well as his 10-year-old sister.
Franke is known for her strict parenting policies, but the abuse allegations came as a complete shock to family members.
Her nephew Matthew Franke tells Inside Editon that he was “disgusted and horrified” when he learned the details of the case.
He also tells Jim Moret that there were no red flags that made the family even consider the possibility that his cousins might have been abused by their mother.
“We always thought she was kind of weird on the stricter side but, nothing that screamed abuse,” explains Matthew.
Franke’s sister Julie Deru echoes that as well, saying: “We were in complete shock. We had no idea what was happening.”
The six Franke children are now with their father, Kevin, while their mother is in jail ahead of her second court appearance next week. Kevin and Ruby had been separated for close to a year at the time of her arrest.
Their YouTube channel, "8 Passengers," began to decline in popularity around 2021 after the Frankes' strict parenting style led to complaints from viewers. The channel was eventually removed from the platform earlier this year.
Franke and Hildebrandt have yet to enter pleas.
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