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Ruby Franke’s sisters speak out after influencer’s arrest for child abuse

‘Ruby was arrested which needed to happen,’ two of the sisters wrote in a joint statement

Kelly Rissman
Friday 01 September 2023 21:40 BST
Ruby Franke
Ruby Franke (NBC / YouTube. Screengrab)

After the Utah Youtuber Ruby Franke — who offered parenting advice — was arrested on child abuse charges, Ms Franke’s sisters spoke out on social media, explaining they had their own concerns about her children behind the scenes.

Although the video has since been taken down, on Friday, Ms Franke’s sister Bonnie Hoellein posted a segment on Youtube called “My Statement on My Sister Ruby Franke.”

“It would feel very out of place for me to continue to post my regular content after the arrest of my sister,” the video description read, according to NBC News. “It feels like a weight has been lifted as we now know our nieces and nephews are safe.”

Ms Franke, who, along with friend Jodi Hildebrandt, formerly operated the “8 Passengers” YouTube channel that featured her family, was arrested on Wednesday. The Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department said in a statement on Thursday that they had found a minor who was described as “emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around the extremities”.

“The condition of the juvenile was so severe that they were seen by Santa Clara-Ivins EMS and transported to a local area hospital,” the press release said.

In the video, Ms Hoellein reportedly said that the week had been “nothing that I could have anticipated,” and that she and her two other sisters, Julie Griffiths Deru and Ellie Mecham, were all “on the same page” about Franke’s arrest.

“For the last three years we have truly clung on to each other and offering support to one another, and I don’t think any of us could’ve seen this coming,” Ms Hoellein said. “We all did as much as we could, legally.”

Ruby Franke’s sisters released a joint statement (Ellie Mecham / Instagram)

Ms Mecham and Ms Deru also weighed in on Instagram, posting a joint statement with Ms Hoellein. The sisters wrote that although they have kept quiet for the last three years about Ruby Franke “for the sake of her children,” that behind closed doors, “we have done everything we could to try and make sure the kids were safe.”

They added that they won’t be commenting on the arrest further.

“Ruby was arrested which needed to happen. Jodi was arrested which needed to happen,” they said. “The kids are now safe, which is the number one priority.”

Officials said that after searching the residence where the severely undernourished juveniles were found, four minors were put into the custody of the Department of Child and Family Services.

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