1 of 1 Ruby Franke (right) and Jodi Nan Hildebrandt appeared together in YouTube videos Photo: YouTube channel “Conexions”/Via BBC Ruby Franke (right) and Jodi Nan Hildebrandt appeared together in YouTube videos Photo: YouTube channel “Conexions” /About BBC
An American woman who gained popularity with a YouTube channel offering parenting advice was arrested on suspicion of child abuse after her malnourished son ran away from home, authorities said.
On Wednesday (30) Ruby Franke and her business partner Jodi Nan Hildebrandt were arrested in the city of Ivins, Utah.
Authorities also discovered that Ruby Franke’s 10yearold daughter was malnourished at her partner’s home.
Both women now face two felony counts of child abuse.
The BBC asked Franke and Hildebrandt for clarification but received no response.
According to police, Franke’s 12yearold son jumped out the window and ran to a neighbor’s house looking for food and water.
The neighbor called authorities and reported that the young man appeared very thin and malnourished, with open wounds and tape on his arms and legs, according to a statement from the local Department of Public Safety.
When authorities arrived at the scene, they discovered the boy’s injuries and malnutrition were severe.
The boy had to be hospitalized because of deep cuts from ropes used to bind him and because of malnutrition.
Ruby Franke’s 10yearold daughter also needed medical attention.
Authorities later obtained a search warrant in connection with the incident and a total of four children were placed in the care of Family and Child Welfare Services, the release said.
Below is a video on reporting cases of child violence in Brazil.
Child sexual violence and abuse: Find out how to report it
41yearold Ruby Franke rose to fame on YouTube in the 2010s through her channel “8 Passengers,” in which she discussed raising her six children.
She appeared in YouTube videos with “lifestyle coach” Jodi Nan Hildebrandt, which were posted on her consulting website ConneXions Classroom.
The YouTube channel had more than 2 million subscribers before it was deactivated earlier this year.
Ruby Franke was previously criticized for her strict parenting practices detailed on her channel. These included allegations that her son slept on a beanbag chair for several months as punishment, and mentioning that withholding meals was a form of discipline.
The bean bag incident prompted some bystanders to report it to local child protection authorities, although Ruby Franke told Insider that the incident was misinterpreted.
Ruby Franke’s eldest daughter, Shari Franke, published an Instagram post following her mother’s arrest expressing her joy that justice was being served, US media reported.
According to the Associated Press, Ruby Franke has so far requested an attorney and has not spoken to police. This lawyer’s name has not yet been publicly disclosed.
Watch a video below about the precautions the Brazilian judiciary must take when hearing children in hearings.
For 20 years now, the RS has been collecting testimonies from children and young people who have become victims of abuse and violence with particular care