Popular youtuber Ruby Franke and business parter Jodui Hildebrandt were arrested with six counts of aggravated child abuse after Frank’s son was discovered with duct tape around his wrist and ankles begging his neighbors for food and water. Ruby Franke kept a video diary of her family online known as “8 Passengers” where she documented her day to day life with her six children. After her 12 year old child escaped, she was arrested outside of Hilderbrandt’s home. Another one of her daughters was found malnourished with tape markings on her body as well.
As much of the information has been left private of the childrens’ current state, many have been keeping updated on the story through the eldest child’s Instagram account. Shari Franke is 20 years old, and has not kept in contact with her mother since turning eighteen. In a recent post she states, “Today has been a big day. Me and my family are so glad justice is being served. We’ve been trying to tell the police and CPS for years about this, and so glad they finally decided to step up. Kids are safe, but there’s a long road ahead. Please keep them in your prayers and also respect their privacy. She has started a public Google Doc where people can add evidence of her mother’s abuse from hours of Youtube footage that would be too difficult to sift through alone. This doc is building a case against her mother for Shari believes, “Justice has been served,” as stated on her Instagram Story.
Last year, law enforcement was summoned to the Frankes’ home in Utah after neighbors began to notice that Ruby would leave for long periods of time. They were concerned that her young children were left alone as she vacationed for multiple days at a time. Not only was it Ruby’s oldest daughter who made the call to the home, but the children refused to speak to anyone with questions about the situation. Franke’s Youtube channel “8 Passengers” popularized because of her harsh parenting beliefs where evidence is shown in these videos of her being abusive. She relays unnecessary punishments that she has practiced on her children and exploits their childhoods for her own gain. A large topic of discussion during this case is how she sent her oldest son, Chad, away to wilderness camp due to behavioral issues. Before this, she has taken his bed away as punishment, forcing him to sleep on a bean bag. She consistently videos them going through key developmental stages of their life where they are clearly uncomfortable with being videotaped. While these childrens’ lives have been saved, this parenting will forever leave a mark on these kids as their case reaches further into court.