Ruby Franke, a social media influencer from Utah, has been arrested on charges of aggravated child abuse after a malnourished child with open wounds and duct tape on their extremities was found in her care. Franke, known for her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” was taken into custody on Wednesday, and officials have stated that another malnourished child was also found in the home.
The child, described as severely emaciated and malnourished, was discovered by Santa Clara-Ivins police, who observed wounds and alerted authorities. The child was immediately taken to a local hospital for treatment. Police later found another child in the home who was in a similar physical condition.
Franke's eldest daughter, Shari, posted on Instagram about her mother's arrest, expressing relief that justice was finally being served. She stated that they had been trying to inform the police and Child Protective Services about the abuse for years.
The “8 Passengers” YouTube channel, which had millions of followers, documented the lives of Franke, her husband, and their six children. However, the channel was taken offline earlier this year for unknown reasons. As the channel's popularity grew, concerns were raised about the parents' authoritarian parenting style.
Franke's arrest has brought attention to the allegations of mistreatment against her and her husband. Viewers speculated that they were mistreating their children, leading to an investigation. Four of Franke's children were taken into protective custody following her arrest.
Franke's husband, Kevin Franke, has also faced legal challenges in relation to the alleged abuse. Recently, there have been suspicions that he was aware of the abuse happening in their home. A YouTube video filmed in the home of a friend two days before the arrest allegedly showed Ruby Franke, raising suspicions that she was aware of the abuse.
The revelation of the abuse has shocked the online community, as the Franke family had gained a significant following on various platforms. However, concerns about their parenting style had been raised in the past, with accusations of withholding food from their children until they completed chores.
The arrest has sparked discussions about the responsibility of social media influencers and the potential dangers of promoting a certain parenting style. The Franke family's case serves as a reminder that behind the online persona, there may be hidden issues and potential harm to children.
Franke's arrest has prompted her family members to speak out. Her sisters, Ellie Mecham, Bonnie Hoellein, and Julie Deru, posted on Instagram, stating that they had tried to ensure the safety of Franke's children behind the scenes.
The legal proceedings surrounding Franke's case are ongoing, and it remains to be seen what charges she will face. Meanwhile, her husband is focused on keeping their children together under his care.
The case of Ruby Franke highlights the dark side of the influencer world and raises important questions about the safety and well-being of children in the age of social media. It serves as a reminder that the online personas we see may not reflect the reality of someone's life and that it is crucial to prioritize the welfare of children above all else.
0. “Social Media Influencer Ruby Franke Arrested On Suspicion Of Child Abuse” NDTV, 1 Sep. 2023, https://www.ndtv.com/world-news/social-media-influencer-ruby-franke-arrested-on-suspicion-of-child-abuse-4347515
1. “Parenting Influencer Ruby Franke Accused Of Aggravated Child Abuse: What To Know About Her Arrest” Forbes, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.forbes.com/sites/maryroeloffs/2023/08/31/parenting-influencer-ruby-franke-accused-of-aggravated-child-abuse-what-to-know-about-her-arrest
2. “Ruby Franke Accusations Explained as ‘8 Passengers' YouTuber Arrested” Newsweek, 1 Sep. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/ruby-franke-accusations-explained-8-passengers-youtuber-arrested-1823985
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4. “‘8 Passengers’ mom, Ruby Franke and cohort Jodi Hildebrandt arrested for alleged child abuse” East Idaho News, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.eastidahonews.com/2023/08/8-passengers-mom-ruby-franke-and-cohort-jodi-hildebrandt-arrested-for-alleged-child-abuse/
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7. “Shari Franke speaks out after 8 Passengers mom, Ruby Franke, arrest” USA TODAY, 31 Aug. 2023, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2023/08/31/ruby-franke-8-passengers-vlogger-arrested-child-abuse-charges-daughter-shari-speaks/70730970007
8. “Husband of 8 passengers creator Ruby Franke hopes to ‘keep his children together': attorney” Insider, 1 Sep. 2023, https://www.insider.com/kevin-franke-8-passengers-creator-ruby-franke-keep-children-together-2023-8
9. “Is Ruby Franke Married? Her Family Life with Husband Kevin Franke Amid Recent Events” CoopWB, 1 Sep. 2023, https://coopwb.in/info/is-ruby-franke-married