A former YouTuber who gave online parenting advice has been arrested on suspicion of aggravated child abuse after two of her children were found to be malnourished.
Ruby Franke, whose now defunct 8 Passengers channel followed her family, was arrested on Wednesday in Utah and taken into custody.
Franke’s 12-year-old son had climbed out of a window in the city of Ivins and ran to a neighbor’s house on Wednesday morning before asking for food and water, according to an affidavit filed by an officer with the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department.
According to the document, the neighbor saw duct tape on the boy’s ankles and wrists and called law enforcement.
The boy was taken to a hospital, where he was put on a medical hold “due to his deep lacerations from being tied up with rope and from his malnourishment,” arrest records show.
Franke’s 10-year-old daughter was later found malnourished and was also taken to the hospital, officers said. Two other of Franke’s children were in the custody of child protection services, the affidavit said.
Franke was arrested alongside her business partner and collaborator, Jodi Hildebrandt, who is the founder of the controversial life counseling organization ConneXions Classroom. The two women create advice videos that critics say promote a harsh style of parenting.
On Thursday, a judge denied Franke bail after a detective cited “the severity of the injuries of her two kids located in the home,” and told the judge the Department of Child and Family Services had taken four of Franke’s children into custody with the officer yet to speak to two of them.