Ruby Franke and her work partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were arrested Wednesday in Ivins, Utah, after a neighbor took in a sick and hungry child, local police announced.
“The boy appeared emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and construction tape around his extremities. The minor was asking for food and water,” authorities described in a press release.
Another juvenile was found in the residence by police in a “malnourished physical condition.” Both children were taken to hospital.
Both women were charged Friday with aggravated child abuse, local newspapers reported, and county jail officials said they were in pretrial custody Saturday.
Ruby Franke, a mother of six, became known on social media for her now-defunct YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” in which she portrayed her family’s daily life and promoted strict educational rules, including food shortages.
In her videos, which have been re-shared by netizens since her arrest, Ms. Franke threatened to film one of his sons, explaining that he would “lose the privilege of eating” or sleep in a beanbag for months after “losing a room.” Following a bad joke.
“8 Passengers” channel has been suspended by YouTube. According to US media, the family was followed by nearly 2.5 million subscribers at one point.
“Total coffee junkie. Tv ninja. Unapologetic problem solver. Beer expert.”