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Ruby Franke formally charged with 6 counts of felony child abuse

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Ruby Franke, the mother of six behind the family YouTube channel “8 Passengers,” has been charged with six counts of felony child abuse by the Washington County Attorney in Utah, a spokesperson for the attorney’s office confirmed to NBC News on Tuesday.


Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, were arrested last week after law enforcement found Franke’s 12-year-old son emaciated and with open wounds and duct tape on his wrists and ankles. The boy had climbed out of a window of Hildebrandt’s home and ran to a neighbor house for help, according to a probable cause affidavit acquired by NBC News. 


Franke’s 10-year-old daughter was found at Hildebrandt’s home in a similar malnourished condition, according to the affidavit. Officials said the condition of the children was so severe that they were transported to a local area hospital. Franke’s other four children were taken into the care of Utah’s Division of Child and Family Services. 


Hildebrandt was also charged with six counts of felony child abuse. Each count carries a prison sentence of up to 15 years and a fine of up to $10,000, the county attorney told NBC News in an emailed statement.