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Parenting Vlogger Ruby Franke's Fall From Grace in 13 Clicks: What Led to Arrest and Child Abuse Charges

ruby franke
Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Ruby Franke shared her family's life for years through her YouTube channels.

Oct. 28 2023, Published 5:00 a.m. ET

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2015: Kevin and Ruby Franke Started '8Passengers' Vlog

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Kevin and Ruby Franke had been separated at the time of her arrest.

Ruby Franke and her now-estranged husband, Kevin Franke, launched their since-deleted YouTube channel, 8 Passengers, to document their lives as parents to their six children.

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2020: Kevin and Ruby Franke's Oldest Son Dropped Shocking Revelation

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

The public created an online petition calling for an investigation into the family.

A Change.org user named Snail Galaxy started a petition in May 2020 and addressed their concerns to Child Protective Services and YouTube after Ruby posted controversial videos on the channel. One of the clips showed the oldest son, Chad, revealing that the matriarch took his bed away from him for seven months following a prank he pulled on his sibling.

He said he had been sleeping on a beanbag after the incident, and Ruby could be heard laughing while holding the camera.

Another video showed Ruby explaining that she did not want to bring her daughter Eve her packed lunch "as a teaching lesson." She also admitted to refusing to do so because her child was "just going to need to be hungry."

"Hopefully, nobody gives her food, and nobody steps in and gives her a lunch because then she's not going to learn from the natural outcome," Ruby said in front of the camera.

"The mom of six (Ruby Franke) has shown signs of being neglectful and abusive towards her children," the description of the Change.org petition read. "Many of us think we see signs of abuse on their social media accounts and would like for Utah Child Protective Services and/or similar to investigate/check in on their home life."

The page collected 245 signatures then.

2022: Ruby Franke Joined ConneXions

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Old videos from the 8 Passengers channel resurfaced amid the controversy.

In her interview with The Wrap, Ruby recalled returning to their home from a camping trip and finding two officers who reportedly received complaints about child abuse and child neglect. She condemned her critics and explained that she only did what a responsible mother should do.

She stopped uploading videos on their family's YouTube channel and joined Jodi Hildebrandt's ConnecXions.

The two women also started the Moms of Truth page, where they also made controversial parenting advice repeatedly.

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April 2022: Concerns About Her Children's Welfare Surfaced

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Kevin Franke moved out of their home in August 2022 following their separation.

A Division of Child and Family Services case worker called the police after learning about "two kids running out in the road unsupervised." An officer responded to the call but found no children near the reported area.

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August 30, 2023: Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt Were Arrested

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

The duo was arrested on child abuse charges.

Local KUTV News and Insider reported that the officials arrested Ruby and Jodi following the child abuse reports.

The Santa Clara Ivins Public Safety penned a press release saying that the officials worked with the Springfield Police Department in the case. Meanwhile, four minor children have been transported to the Department of Children And Family Services, where they received treatment and proper care.

A YouTube spokesperson said the platform terminated Ruby's two channels and other user accounts that reuploaded her content.

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August 2023: Kevin Franke Wanted His Eldest Daughter Arrested for Burglary

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Police served them a search warrant to find the other children.

Fox News Digital obtained an incident report dated September 1 detailing the time Kevin told the police to arrest his eldest daughter, Shari, for burglary after his electronic devices went missing.

"Kevin stated that Shari is not allowed in the home, and that he believes she entered unlawfully and he wants her charged with burglary," the officer wrote.

An official clarified to Kevin that the house's door had been broken after the Springville Police Department served a search warrant. Thus, their daughter was not responsible for the damage.

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September 1, 2023: Residents Revealed Further Details on Abuse Allegations

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

The neighbors also witnessed Ruby Franke's alleged abusive behavior.

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People close to Kevin and Ruby revisited the incidents in early 2022 that reportedly showed signs of the matriarch's concerning behavior. A neighbor told Rolling Stone that things started getting weird after she stopped her YouTube channel.

"And then it just kind of turned dark," the unnamed source said. "She taped up paper over all of her windows. She would disappear for weeks at a time and there's all these little kids just left alone in this house."

The neighbor added, "The cops were called, you know, several times, they would come and they'd knock on the door and nobody would open up."

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September 6, 2023: Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt Received Charges; YouTube Banned the Pages

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Both Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt received six charges each.

The Washington County Attorney's Office in Utah confirmed to People that Ruby's charges increased to six after she was initially charged with two counts of aggravated child abuse. A county attorney's office spokesperson said the podcasting partner also got six charges.

"Each defendant is accused of causing or permitting serious physical injury to the victims in three different ways: (1) a combination of multiple physical injuries or torture, (2) starvation or malnutrition that jeopardizes life, and (3) causing severe emotional harm," a part of the press release read.

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September 7, 2023: She Appeared in Court for The First Time

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

They required a medical aid in jail following the arrest.

Ruby appeared virtually before the 5th District Court Judge Eric Gentry, who ruled that she would remain on no bail until the next hearing. The judge scheduled the next appearance for September 21.

During the 30-minute initial hearing, Ruby alleged that her child admitted to sexually abusing 20 kids in May, while another child reportedly started watching porn at three.

The matriarch also claimed that two of her children had a "patting" game.

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September 11, 2023: Jodi Hildebrandt's Niece Spoke Up

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Two of the youngest kids received treatment for severe malnourishment.

Jodi's niece Jessi Hildebrandt revealed to KUTV the "severe" psychological and emotional abuse she went through

"I experienced being tied, I experienced being duct-taped, I experienced being blindfolded, I experienced severe isolation, I experienced severe emotional, spiritual and psychological abuse," she continuously said.

She added that Jodi told them not to spend time with other people and forced them to sleep outside while it was snowing.

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September 17, 2023: Jodi Hildebrandt Surrendered Her Counseling License

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Jodi Hildebrandt had to give up her license to protect her patients and clients.

Weeks after the arrest, Jodi surrendered her license to practice and signed an official declaration. The Utah Division of Professional Licensing unveiled the documents, saying it started working with the life coach's attorney after the arrest "to secure the voluntary surrender of her professional license with limitations, ensuring that she cannot practice if released."

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October 5, 2023: Kevin Franke's Lawyer Had an Exclusive Interview With People

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

Two of the youngest kids received treatment for severe malnourishment.

Kevin's lawyer spoke to People and detailed that the patriarch was shocked about the child abuse controversy and how he was deceived over the past few years.

According to Randy Kester, Kevin and Ruby started meeting Jodi in 2021 — the same year she founded ConneXions to "help" people flourish in their relationships. However, they fell apart a year later, with the patriarch moving out of their home and cutting off communication with almost everyone in his life.

Jodi reportedly ordered them to separate because "they were enabling one another."

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October 23, 2023: Bodycam Footage Released

Source: @moms_of_truth/Instagram

The police officers went to Ruby Franke's house after finding her "emaciated" child.

ABC 7 Chicago released the exclusive bodycam footage of the police officers busting into Ruby's home after finding one of her children in a concerning state. The child was later identified as the estranged couple's son Russell Franke.

They searched the home to look for other minors and check their well-being but soon saw two children at the house owned by ConneXions member Pat Bodtcher, who revealed that Ruby asked her to take care of the kids due to a family emergency.

"She said, 'Do you mind watching the girls while I'm gone,' because she was leaving,'" Bodtcher continued.

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