IVINS, Utah (ABC4) — Ruby Franke, the famous YouTube vlogger behind “8 Passengers” and Jodi Hildebrandt creator of the mental health company “Connexions Classroom” have been arrested for alleged aggravated child abuse.
Police were called after one of Ruby Franke’s children reportedly climbed out of a window of an Ivins residence owned by Hildebrandt and ran to a neighbor’s home. The neighbor observed duct tape on the child’s wrists and ankles and contacted law enforcement.
Law enforcement reports in court documents the 12-year-old was found to be severely malnourished and reported other wounds on the child. The child was transported to St. George Regional Hospital and was placed on a medical hold due to “deep lacerations from being tied up with rope and malnourishment.”
Police report finding a second child in Hildebrandt’s home. The 10-year-old female child at first refused care but eventually agreed and was also found to be malnourished by medical professionals at the hospital.
Police state that Ruby Franke appeared in a YouTube video that was filmed in Hildebrandt’s basement and posted two days ago. Police believe Franke had knowledge of the abuse and neglect.
Reports also state that Hildebrandt was in the direct care of the children and had direct knowledge of the abuse. Hildebrandt reportedly made statements to police that the children should “never be allowed around any other kids,” adding to law enforcement’s opinion that she was aware of the abuse.
In a press release from Santa Clara Ivins Public Safety it was reported that officials worked with the Springfield Police Department and four minor children have been taken into the care of the Department of Children And Family Services.
Franke and Hildebrandt can be seen in Connexions videos promoting family values and tips on parenting. Hildebrandt’s mission according to her website is to “invite and encourage healing and facilitate personal growth through impeccable honesty, rigorous personal responsibility and vulnerable humility.”
Franke’s oldest daughter has been featured on other YouTube shows admitting she was estranged from her family and giving reasons as to why she was no longer speaking to her parents. She said once she moved out of her home to attend college she began realizing her parent’s methods were too extreme.
This is a developing story. ABC4 will update the story as more information becomes available.
Charges are allegations only. All arrested persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.