‘I’m not shocked’: YouTube mom Ruby Franke’s relative says ‘disgusting’ child abuse case is ‘BIGGER than people know’ and claims other family members have also duct-taped, handcuffed and starved kids
A relative of YouTube mom Ruby Franke said the news about her child molestation case is “disgusting” but that the problem is “bigger than people know.”
Franke’s unnamed cousin, who faces six counts of abuse, claimed this wasn’t the first time their family tree had experienced this behavior. Other family members also have children with duct tape, handcuffs, and starving children.
They described the unprovoked child abuse and beatings that happened in their home as a child — and they said that after briefly watching their YouTube channel, they noticed the same mannerisms from Ruby.
Ruby, 41, bho runs the YouTube page 8 Passengers, was arrested on August 30 along with business partner Jodi Hildebrandt on two counts of aggravated child abuse.
Child abuse, physical behavior and food withholding has been a problem that has run in the Franke family for generations, they claimed.
YouTuber mom Ruby Franke (pictured) has been charged with six child molestation charges after her 12-year-old son was found with open wounds and duct tape on their limbs
Ruby Franke is seen with her four daughters: Shari (red coat), Eve (gray dress), Julie (pink coat), and Abby (black coat)
Franke’s hidden cousin (right) spoke to Law&Crime about their own experiences of child abuse within the family
The family member – who called the child abuse allegations “disgusting” – said their entire family tree “from roots to branches” has been “destroyed”.
That’s what Ruby Franke’s cousin told, whose identity remained hidden Law & Crime: ‘I’m not shocked. It’s not a shock at all. The direction it was going was not what I thought, but what it came from was to be expected.
“I didn’t expect that some of the details in that story would tie in with details in my own family history.
‘My mother handcuffed my sisters when they were young, and lack of food was not uncommon, but it wasn’t for lack of money. There was a time when it could have been prevented and it wasn’t.’
“All I can say is that my mother has been avoiding my siblings. I’m not shocked.’
When asked when they last saw Ruby, they replied, “When I was very young, that was a long time ago. More than fifteen years ago.’
They describe their reaction and say, ‘Disgusted. Because this is something that spans several generations.
“I’m very aware of the way I was treated and the way my siblings were treated, so to see that later on isn’t shocking, it’s disgusting.”
“The whole tree, from the bottom of the roots to the tops of the branches, the whole tree is destroyed. It’s multi-generational. ‘
Speaking of how the Mormon Church and its teachings would have justified this abuse, the family member said, “I feel and believe that things like this are being used to justify this abuse.”
“I can understand it with every fiber of my being. I hope they’re okay.
“It’s much bigger than people know.”
Franke’s son climbed out the window of Hildebrandt’s house and ran to a neighbor for help, according to a probable cause statement obtained by NBC states. This was the reason for the investigation.
In addition to his injuries, the boy was found in an emaciated condition. The 10-year-old daughter of Ruby and husband Kevin Franke was found in a similar condition.
Hildebrandt also faces six counts of child molestation in Washington County, Utah. Each charge carries a maximum prison term of 15 years and a fine of $10,000.
When Ruby’s children were discovered, authorities said Russell, 12, and Eve, 10, were so malnourished they had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
The family exploded on social media after they started posting videos in 2015
Ruby, her husband, and their six children rose to fame in 2015 after she began sharing videos on YouTube that gave a glimpse into her life as a Mormon mother of six.
Investigators said a search found “evidence consistent with the markings found on the young person.”
The woman’s other four children — Shari, Chad, Abby and Julie — were taken away by the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.
In a statement to NBC News, the Washington County attorney said the two women allegedly caused or authorized “serious bodily harm” in three ways.
“(1) a combination of multiple physical injuries or torture, (2) starvation or malnutrition endangering life, and (3) causing severe emotional harm,” they said.
As of Sept. 5, both women are still in custody, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website.
Ruby and her business partner will appear in court on September 8.
The Mormon woman first rose to fame for her strict parenting style, which exploded on YouTube and made her “millions” of dollars, she claimed.
She along with husband Kevin amassed over 2.2 million subscribers for documenting their daily social media endeavors.
The pair stopped uploading videos in January 2022 and the page was completely removed from the website earlier this year.
When asked why she left YouTube months later, she said she chose to stop uploading videos because she wanted to “save her kids.”
Ruby Franke, (left) who ran the now-defunct channel 8 Passengers, was arrested on August 30 along with her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt (right).
In July, she was called out online after a video surfaced of her starving Eve after the young girl forgot to make her own lunch for school.
In a video posted in 2020, Ruby said her daughter’s teacher texted her saying the youngster had nothing to eat for lunch.
She said that all of her children are responsible for preparing their own lunch in the morning, so she wouldn’t bring food for Eve to teach her a lesson.
Franke said, “My hope (is) she’ll be hungry and come home and say ‘that was really painful to be hungry all day.’ I’ll make sure I always have lunch with me.’
“The natural outcome is that she’ll just have to go hungry.”
It was this parenting style that helped the woman gain a huge following on YouTube and put herself and her family in the spotlight.
After her arrest, one of Ruby’s grown children spoke out on social media, saying she was excited to see justice finally done for her mother.
In an Instagram story following her mother’s arrest, Shari, 20, celebrated her mother’s arrest and said she had been “trying to tell the police and the CPS about this for years.”
Shari also said she’s “so happy they’ve finally decided to take it one step further” and that her siblings are safe, DailyMail.com reported.
The 20-year-old shared a photo of police officers outside the family’s Springville, Utah home, along with the caption “Finally.”
Ruby once came under fire for revealing that her then six-year-old daughter Eve had to “go hungry” because the little girl had failed to make her own lunch for school
This is the house that Russell Franke reportedly fled from to get help
On Sunday, Kevin was spotted outside his home by DailyMail.com for the first time since his wife and her business partner last week.
Kevin was seen pacing the property when a man came to remove the YouTube branding from a van parked in front of the house.
The man would have been evicted from the parental home last year.
He said last week that after the arrests he is “trying to keep his children together.”
Kevin’s attorney, Randy S. Kester, told Page Six that his client’s “urgent focus is simply to keep his children together under his paternal care.”
Neighbors said they were concerned for the well-being of the children and once saw the children outside weeding for hours in a 3-degree temperature.
DailyMail.com spoke to one of Hildebrandt’s neighbors, whose home is also in the Kayenta community, in the foothills of the Red Mountains in Ivins, Utah.
They remembered that they regularly parked Franke’s van, which had an ‘8 Passengers’ sticker and license plate, in front of the house.
“One thing we noticed and we told the police the same thing: six to eight weeks ago when it was very hot, I was out late morning and afternoon pulling weeds and at Jodi’s house several children were also outside weed her house.
“During the day the temperature rose above 40 degrees and after a while I gave up because it was so hot, but I noticed that the children stayed outside,” explains the neighbor.