A parenting and lifestyle blogger from Utah who was recently charged with child abuse allegedly sustained a “life-threatening medical injury” while incarcerated, according to court records.
Two of Ruby Franke’s six children were found malnourished and emaciated in the house of Jodi Hildebrandt’s business partner Ruby Franke on August 30. Hildebrandt and Franke ran a joint parenting YouTube page called ConneXions Classroom. Both women were charged with six counts of child abuse.
The application for an accelerated detention hearing was submitted by Hildebrandt’s attorney, Douglas Terry, on Friday after Hildebrandt “experienced a life-threatening medical issue resulting in her hospitalisation for several days.”
As part of his plea, Terry also asks for a “special setting for the Court to hear the issue of Defendant’s detention.” An enquiry from Fox News Digital was not immediately answered by Hildebrandt’s lawyer.
Because “it is believed that both” Hildebrandt and Franke’s “cases should be heard at the same time,” LaMar Winward, Franke’s attorney, also submitted a motion for an accelerated detention hearing on Friday. While her detention hearing was currently set, Franke’s attorney also had “a longstanding family vacation” planned. At this moment, Winward has declined to comment on the accusations made against his client.
On the evening of August 30, Santa Clara-Ivins police responded to a dispatch call regarding a young person requesting assistance. They then proceeded to Hildebrandt’s Utah home.
“I just had a 12-year-old boy show up here at my front door asking for help, and he said he just came from a neighbour’s house, and we know there have been problems at this neighbour’s house,” a man said in a 911 call obtained by Fox News Digital. “He’s emaciated. He’s got tape around his legs. He’s hungry, and he’s thirsty.
He told us to contact the police. So he’s really scared,” he continued, subsequently identifying the neighbour as Hildebrandt. Later, the youngster revealed to him that, although he has come from Hildebrandt’s home, his mother is Ruby Franke and he does not reside nearby.
A probable cause document from the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department claims that one of Franke’s six kids reportedly left Hildebrandt’s residence in Ivins through a window and contacted a neighbour for assistance.
The toddler was taken to a hospital for treatment after police discovered “wounds” and significant malnourishment when they arrived at Hildebrandt’s house. He “was placed on a medical hold due to his deep lacerations from being tied up with rope and from his malnourishment,” according to an affidavit.
After the first child called the police, authorities discovered a second emaciated youngster belonging to Franke inside Hildebrandt’s house. The affidavit claims that the second youngster “initially refused medical” aid but was ultimately taken to a hospital.
Six kids were saved by police from Hildebrandt’s house in Washington County.
“Ruby Franke was seen on a YouTube video filmed in Jodi Hildebrandt’s downstairs, which was posted two days [prior to their arrest],” the affidavit says. Franke was “present in the home and having knowledge of the abuse, malnourishment, and neglect” of her two children at Hildebrandt’s home, it is further said.
Franke and Hildebrandt were detained without bail at the request of the police.
In one of Franke’s parenting videos, she talked about her choice to deny her two youngest children Christmas presents in order to instil a behavioural lesson in them. She threatened to chop off a doll’s head in another.
Following their arrests, internet sleuths from TikTok and YouTube soon swooped on Franke’s and Hildebrandt’s social media sites to find disturbing statements the two influencers had made on their open platforms.
“My kids are literally starving,” Franke, wearing red lipstick, said in one video in front of a Christmas tree. “I hesitate to say this because this is going to sound like, I’m, like, a mean barbarian, but I told the kids, I said, ‘I’m not even going to let you eat breakfast until you get your chores done.'”
Franke and Hildebrandt’s charges include “causing or permitting serious physical injury to the [two juvenile] victims in three different ways: (1) a combination of multiple physical injuries or torture; (2) starvation or malnutrition that jeopardizes life; and (3) causing severe emotional harm,” according to the Washington County District Attorney’s Office.