The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


The student news site of University of Wisconsin-Platteville.


YouTube Family Vlogger Arrested for Child Abuse

Abigail Shimniok graphic

Former family vlogger Ruby Franke, 41, was arrested on Aug. 30, 2023, in Ivins, UT on aggravated child abuse charges.
Franke was the sole operator of the YouTube Channel “8 Passengers,” where she uploaded videos of her children and gave parenting advice to other parents. The channel had amassed over 2.5 million subscribers before it was removed from the platform earlier this year.
Documents from the Washington County Sherriff’s department state that Franke was arrested along with her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, who co-owned the parental advice and counseling YouTube channel “ConneXions.”
Both women were charged with two counts of second-degree aggravated child abuse.
Additional information released by Fox 13 showed that one of Franke’s children climbed out of a window to get help from a neighbor. The 12-year-old child had asked the neighbor for food and water, but the neighbor noticed duct tape around the child’s hands and ankles and called the police.
The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was put on a medical hold “due to his deep lacerations from being tied up with rope and from his malnourishment,” arrest records stated.
Franke and her children were staying in Hildebrandt’s house when the incident took place.
Police obtained a search warrant and had removed the remainder of Franke’s children from the home. Franke’s daughter was found malnourished in Hildebrandt’s house during the search and was also taken to the hospital. Two of Franke’s other children were placed in the custody of child protection services.
Arrest documents state Franke was seen on a YouTube video filmed in the residence just days before the incident, which “adds to Ms. Franke … being present in the home and having knowledge of the abuse, malnourishment and neglect.”
Franke had faced backlash in the past for her alleged abuse towards her children after she posted a YouTube video detailing how she took away her oldest son’s bed, claiming he slept on a beanbag for several months after he pulled a prank on his younger brother.
Franke had additionally described how she would withhold meals from her children as a punishment for bad behavior.
Franke had refused to talk to police and instead requested a lawyer.
Prosecutors allege that Franke and Hildebrandt had either caused or allowed someone to torture Franke’s 12-year-old son and severely injure her 10-year-old daughter. Both of her children were starved and emotionally harmed.
Kevin Franke, 44, Ruby Franke’s husband, hired attorney Randy S. Kester, who confirmed that the two are still married despite Franke being arrested for aggravated child abuse. It is unknown whether Mr. Franke knew about the abuse or if he was living in Hildebrandt’s home at the time of the arrest.
Franke’s eldest daughter, Shari Franke, 20, became estranged from her family in 2022 after she publicly addressed that she was “not in contact” with her “immediate family” as she didn’t “believe in the extreme beliefs of ConneXions.”
Shari Franke posted on Instagram following her mother’s arrest stating that her family was glad justice is being served, “We’ve been trying to tell the police and CPS for years about this,” Shari Franke wrote, “I’m so glad they finally decided to step up.”

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