A relative of YouTube mum Ruby Franke said the news of her child abuse case was “disgusting” but the issue was “bigger than people think”.
Franke’s unnamed cousin, who is charged with six counts of abuse, claimed it was not the first time their family tree had faced the behavior. Other family members also taped, handcuffed and starved children.
They described the unprovoked abuse and slapping that took place in their home as children – and they said that after briefly watching their YouTube channel, they said they noticed the same mannerisms from Ruby.
Ruby, 41, wwho runs YouTube page 8 Passengers, was arrested on two counts of aggravated child abuse with his business partner Jodi Hildebrandt on August 30.
Child abuse, being physical and refusing to eat is a “multi-generational” problem in the Franke family, they claimed.
YouTuber mum Ruby Franke (pictured) has been charged with six counts of child abuse after her 12-year-old son was found with open wounds and duct tape on his limbs
Ruby Franke is seen with her four daughters: Shari (red coat), Eve (grey dress), Julie (pink coat) and Abby (black coat)
Franke’s hidden cousin (right) spoke to Law&Crime about his own experience of child abuse within the family
The family member – who called the child abuse accusations ‘disgusting’ – said their entire family tree, ‘from roots to branches’, was ‘destroyed’.
Ruby Franke’s cousin, whose identity has been withheld, said Law and crime: ‘I’m not shocked. It’s not a shock at all. The direction it went was not the one I expected, but that was to be expected.
“I didn’t expect certain details of this story to match details of my own family history.
“My mother handcuffed my sisters when they were young, and lack of food was not uncommon, but it wasn’t due to lack of money and there was a time when it could have been avoided, but it wasn’t. was not the case. »
“All I can say is my mum duct tapeed my siblings. I’m not shocked.
When asked when they last saw Ruby, they said, “When I was very young, it was a long time ago. Over 15 years ago.
Describing their reaction, they said: “Disgust. Because it is something multigenerational.
“I am very aware of how I was treated and how my siblings were treated so to see this later on is not shocking but disgusting.”
“The whole tree, from the bottom of the roots to the tips of the branches, the whole tree is destroyed. It’s multi-generational. ‘
Speaking about how the Mormon Church and its teachings allegedly justified such abuse, the family member said, “I think and believe that this stuff is used to justify. »
“With every fiber of my being, I can understand. I hope they are well.
“It’s a lot bigger than people think.”
Franke’s son climbed out of a window in Hildebrandt’s home and ran to a neighbor for help, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by BNC states. That’s what triggered the investigation.
In addition to his injuries, the boy was found emaciated. The 10-year-old daughter of Ruby and her husband Kevin Franke was found in a similar condition.
Hildebrandt is also charged with six counts of child abuse in Washington County, Utah. Each count carries a sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of $10,000.
By the time Ruby’s children were discovered, authorities said Russell, 12, and Eve, 10, were so malnourished they had to be taken to hospital for treatment.
The family blew up 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 giving insight into her life as a Mormon mother of six on YouTube.
Investigators said ‘evidence consistent with the marks found on the minor’ was found inside the house during a search.
The woman’s four other children – Shari, Chad, Abby and Julie – were taken by the Utah Division of Child and Family Services.
In a statement to NBC News, the Washington County prosecutor said the two women allegedly caused or enabled “serious physical injury” in three ways.
“(1) a combination of multiple physical injuries or torture, (2) life-threatening starvation or malnutrition, and (3) causing severe emotional damage,” they said.
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office website, the two women remained in custody as of September 5.
Ruby and her business partner will next appear in court on September 8.
The Mormon woman first rose to fame through her strict parenting style which exploded on YouTube and earned her “millions” of dollars, she claimed.
She has amassed more than 2.2 million followers for documenting their daily efforts on social media, alongside her husband Kevin.
The couple stopped uploading videos in January 2022 and the page was completely removed from the website earlier this year.
When asked why she quit YouTube months later, she replied that she chose to stop uploading videos because she wanted to “save her kids”.
Ruby Franke, (left) who ran the now defunct 8 Passengers chain, was arrested along with her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt (right) on August 30.
In July, she was challenged online after a video emerged of her allowing Eve to go hungry after the girl forgot to pack her own lunch before school.
In a video posted in 2020, Ruby said her daughter’s teacher texted her, telling her the youngster had nothing to eat for lunch.
She said all of her children are responsible for making their own breakfasts in the morning, so she doesn’t drop any meals off for Eve to teach her a lesson.
Franke said: ‘I hope (it’s) she gets hungry and she comes home and says ‘it was really painful being hungry all day, I’ll make sure to always have lunch with her Me. “
“The natural result is that she will just have to be hungry.”
It’s this parenting style that has helped the woman gain a huge following on YouTube and shine a light on herself and her family.
Following her arrest, one of Ruby’s adult children took to social media and shared that she was thrilled to finally see justice for her mother.
In an Instagram Story after her mother’s arrest, Shari, 20, celebrated her mother’s arrest and said she had been “trying to talk to the police and CPS about it for years”.
Shari also said she was “very happy that they finally decided to intervene” and that her siblings were safe, DailyMail.com reported.
The 20-year-old shared an image of police officers outside the family home in Springville, Utah, with the caption “Finally”.
Ruby has previously come under fire for revealing her daughter Eve, then six, must have been “hungry” because the little girl failed to pack her own lunch before school.
This is the house that Russell Franke allegedly fled for help.
Kevin was spotted outside his home on Sunday by DailyMail.com for the first time since his wife and business partner were arrested last week.
Kevin was seen pacing the property as a man came to remove the YouTube branding from a van parked in front of the house.
The man was reportedly evicted from the family home last year.
He said last week he was “trying to keep his children together” following the arrests.
Kevin’s attorney, Randy S. Kester, told Page Six that his client’s “urgent goal is simply to keep his children together in his paternal custody.”
Neighbors said they were concerned for the welfare of the children and once saw the children outside pulling weeds for hours in triple-degree heat.
DailyMail.com spoke with one of Hildebrandt’s neighbors whose home is also in the community of Kayenta located at the foot of the Red Mountains in Ivins, Utah.
They remember seeing Franke’s van, which had an “8-passenger” sticker and license plate on it, regularly parked in front of the house at that time.
“One thing we noticed and said the same to the police, six to eight weeks ago, when it was very hot, I was out late morning, afternoon, ripping out the bad weeds and at Jodi’s house, several children were also outside her house pulling weeds.
“During the day, the temperature was over 100 degrees and I gave up after a while because it was very hot, but I noticed that the children were staying outside,” said the neighbor.