Duct-taped child begging for food, water led to arrest of family vlogger, Utah cops say

A family YouTuber was arrested after being accused of child abuse in Utah, police said.

On Aug. 30, Ruby Franke, known from her former channel “8 Passengers,” was arrested after cops received reports of a malnourished and emaciated child asking for help, according to a news release by the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department.

Court documents obtained by KTVX state one of Franke’s children had climbed out of the window of a Ivins home owned by her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, and went to a neighbor for help’s home.

The neighbor called police after the child “knocked on the door requesting food and water,” KUTV reported, citing an affidavit.

McClatchy News reached out to officials for the court documents on Aug. 31 and is awaiting a response.

The people who called 911 told officials the child had “open wounds and duct tape” on their arms and legs, police said.

The child was sent to a local hospital for their severe condition, the release said.

The child was put on a medical hold due to “being tied up with rope,” police documents obtained by KUTV stated.

Later, police learned that other children might be in the same situation in a home nearby, the release said.

After getting to the house, cops found another child in a similar condition and brought the child to a local hospital, police said.

Ultimately, four children were taken into custody and turned over to the Department of Child and Family Services, police said.

Police learned Hildebrandt was aware of the abuse and she was also arrested, investigators told KTVX.

Franke and Hildebrandt were charged with two counts each of aggravated child abuse, according to county jail records.

The “8 Passengers” channel was taken down earlier this year, but it had amassed more than 2 million followers for videos documenting Franke’s life with her family of six children, according to KTVX.

“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,” Shari Franke, one of Franke’s daughters, said on Instagram. “Kids are safe, but there’s a long road ahead.”

Ivins is about 300 miles southwest of Salt Lake City.

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