WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGES: Horrific Injuries of Ruby Franke’s Abused Children, Bodycam of Moment Cops Find Starving Child in Closet

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On Friday, Utah officials released various pictures and videos related to the case against  “8 Passengers” YouTuber Ruby Franke — who was sentenced last month to at least four years in prison for abusing her children.

Fifth District Judge John Walton sentenced Franke to four consecutive sentences of one to 15 years in prison. Franke’s business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, received the same sentence — meaning the pair could both serve up to 60 years in prison.

Franke’s two children were staying with Hildebrandt at the time. Hildebrandt directly cared for the children, but police determined Franke was aware of the abuse as she filmed a YouTube video in Hildebrandt’s basement two days before the August 30 incident which entailed Franke’s 12-year-old son fleeing to a neighbor’s home.

After a neighbor called 911, police went to Hildebrandt’s home and located a 10-year-old child who was also malnourished.

Washington County Attorney

A month after Franke’s sentencing, KSTU obtained surveillance footage from the August 30 incident. It shows a boy ringing a doorbell and walking away when nobody answered. Before leaving, a neighbor stops him and asks what the issue is. The boy responds that he needs someone to contact the nearest police station. The neighbor instructs the child to have a seat before calling the police as neighbors give him food and water.

In addition to forcing her son’s head underwater, Franke admitted to hogtying him with handcuffs that were tied together as he lay on his stomach. The cuffs Franke used on her son damaged his muscles and tissue when they cut through his ankles and wrists.

Like Franke, Hildebrandt said they tried to convince Franke’s son that he was evil and that the abuse was an “act of love.” At sentencing, Franke blamed her actions on paranoia and claimed she believed the world was evil.

“After (Franke’s son) attempted to run away in July, his hands and feet were regularly bound. Binding included being tied to an adult and to weights,” a statement detailed.

Franke also withheld food and water from her daughter, in addition to injuring her at least twice by forcing her to complete physical tasks. One of those instances involved having the girl work outside barefoot during the summer. Meanwhile, Hildebrandt said she forced the girl to jump into a cactus.

Washington County Attorney

KSTU also acquired bodycam footage of police entering Hildebrandt’s home and finding a girl hiding in a closet. The officer assures the child that he is not going to hurt her before cops bring her pizza and a drink. The girl eventually opens the pizza box and takes a bite.

Newly-released video also shows the girl telling EMS she was “nervous” to talk. Police claim it took four hours to convince the girl to agree to go to the hospital for treatment.

In addition to the videos, Washington County prosecutors released images of Franke’s children’s emaciated bodies. The images also showed their limbs wrapped in duct tape. Lacerations are visible on their ankles and wrists.

According to KUTV, prosecutors also released a journal in which Franke detailed the abuse she subjected her children to. In a July 1, 2023, entry, Franke wrote, “R [son] is to stay outside. Sleep outside.”

On July 14, 2023, Franke wrote that her daughter, “refuses to work. Screams. Has hair shaved off.”

Washington County Attorney

Franke had agreed to testify against Hildebrandt at trial. However, Hildebrandt pleaded guilty to the charges against her in late December. In doing so, she confessed to abusing Franke’s 9- and 11-year-old children between May 22 and August 30 and allowing Franke to do the same.

“I am humbled and willing to serve a prison sentence for as long as I need,” Franke said at sentencing. “I am committed to unlearning my toxic behavior.”

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