A former YouTube family content creator has been arrested for child abuse about eight months after her popular channel was mysteriously shut down.
Influencer and mother Ruby Franke used to run the 8 Passengers page on the social media platform, which followed the day-to-day lives of her, her husband Kevin and their six children in Utah.
The channel had about 2.5 million subscribers at the peak of its popularity, but disappeared entirely earlier this year for reasons that are still unclear insider.
Since then, rumors have been circulating on the Internet about what happened to the station “8 Passengers”.
Franke was arrested Wednesday night along with her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office confirmed to The US Sun.
Police said the couple had recently set up the Parent Advisory Service linksThey were remanded in custody for “intentional or knowing serious child abuse”.
The alleged situation happened around 9:33 p.m. at Franke’s residence in Springville, about 50 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, according to the local outlet KSTU.
It was reported that the Springville Fire Department was also called to the home about six hours earlier for a mutual aid incident at the home.
Mutual Aid, as Are defined According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a case occurs when “one party makes resources – personnel, teams, facilities, equipment and supplies – available to another party.”
It’s unclear what exactly caused the need for additional resources at the Franke residence that afternoon and if the arrests later Wednesday night were related.
In the Washington County Sheriff’s Office websiteFranke and Hildebrandt remain in detention and there is currently no update on their arrest.
Although criticism of Franke’s upbringing of her children – Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russell and Eve – has been surfacing online since 2020, according to the insider.
Rumors of child abuse began in the summer of that year when Chad was allegedly having his entire room taken away after pranking his younger brother.
The young Franke family member made the claim in a vlog, noting that he slept on a beanbag chair instead.
Several YouTube channels began investigating the 8 Passengers content, making connections to what they claimed was further evidence of child abuse.
In another clip, Franke refused to bring her then six-year-old daughter Eve another lunch because she forgot to pick it up on the way to school.
Some social media users have viewed this action as parents starving their child.
The Franke couple became aware of the allegations of child abuse and argued strongly against them, accusing the investigative channels of causing “drama”.
They also said it was a method of teaching their children the consequences of their actions and that they were giving them “choices.” interview they gave Insider in June 2020.
The publication even received a letter from the Department of Children and Family Services at the time, saying a case against the Franke family had been dropped over unsubstantiated allegations of child abuse.
8 Passengers continued to post vlogs less frequently for some time, but was eventually removed from YouTube altogether.
Franke reappeared online in June 2022 with Hildebrandt as part of their ConneXions channel.
Hildebrandt is a therapist, but her license was put on probation by the Utah Clinical Mental Health Counselor Licensing Board in January 2012 Salt Lake Tribune.
She allegedly revealed details about the “porn addiction” of a client at the Mormon Church whom she attended without her permission.
The anonymous client claimed that Hildebrandt “intended to destroy my life”.
According to Hildebrandt’s attorney, Robert Harrison, her license was “active again and her practice has been and will continue without interruption,” according to an email to the publication.
Hildebrandt did not comment on the situation, but admitted that she violated the American Counseling Association’s code of ethics, according to an order from the Utah Division of Professional Licensing seen by the Salt Lake Tribune.
When ConneXions went online, the site described itself as a mothering support group that helps “treat the lost and stranded in the darkness of distortion — from which addiction, fear, sadness, and all other self-destructive behaviors result.”
ConneXions’ videos were reportedly heavily criticized by online viewers.
In a clip, the pair reportedly shared their thoughts on parents not loving their children unconditionally, listening to them, and not giving them privacy.
Since then, YouTube and TikTok clips have been distributed to millions of viewers, allegedly depicting Franke’s strict household rules.
Her eldest daughter Shari also posted a story on Instagram in 2022 that she did not speak to the family.
Shari claimed she has “no contact with my immediate family” and opposed “the extreme beliefs” of her mother and Hildebrandt’s channel.
When Franke and Hildebrandt were arrested on Wednesday, Shari used her Instagram Story Once again pictures of police cars are shown in front of the residence.
In one clip she simply wrote “finally” and in another: “Today was a great day.”
“My family and I are so glad that justice is being served,” she continued.
“We’ve been trying to tell the police and CPS about this for years and are so glad they finally decided to step in.”
It’s unclear where other family members are at the moment, including Franke’s husband Kevin, whose Instagram account is located no longer active.
Franke and Hildebrandt face up to 15 years in prison and a $10,000 fine each on a count of willful aggravated child abuse in the state of Utah Wasatch Defense Attorneys.
The US Sun has reached out to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, ConneXions and Shari for further comment on the arrests.