(RepublicanNews.org) – A 41-year-old mother and well-known Mormon YouTuber has been arrested in Utah on suspicion of child abuse. Self-professed parenting expert Ruby Franke was taken into custody on August 30th in the town of Ivins after her 12-year-old boy reportedly showed up at a neighbor’s house with duct tape on his wrists and ankles.
According to the related affidavit, Franke’s son was being held at the residence of fellow YouTuber Jodi Hildebrandt, who hosts a counseling channel and runs an associated brick-and-mortar business. The boy is said to have escaped out of a window and then fled to a nearby home.
Once there, he asked for food and water. After seeing duct tape on the child’s wrists and ankles, the neighbor called police and the decision was made to take the boy to the hospital. Medical staff found the boy to be malnourished and to have “deep lacerations” that had resulted from an unknown period of “being tied up.”
Upon arriving at Hildebrandt’s residence, police further found the boy’s 10-year-old sister in a similar state. Though Hildebrandt and Franke are yet to be charged, both were taken into custody as suspects in an aggravated child abuse investigation. The mother’s two remaining minor children were placed with child protective services.
The following day, a judge signed off on a detective’s request to deny bail to the two adults. Franke reportedly declined to speak with law enforcement other than to request a lawyer. The YouTuber’s husband has retained his own counsel despite not being charged or arrested.
Franke’s widely-watched channel, “8 Passengers,” was home to more than 1,000 posted videos and almost 2.3 million subscribers. YouTube chose to remove the channel earlier this year with little explanation, but the move appeared to coincide with an increase in criticism of Franke’s parenting style. Viewers once called CPS after learning that her son was using a beanbag to sleep instead of a bed.
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