The recently arrested Ruby Franke claims that she called the police twice in 2020 to report two instances of threatening messages from her YouTube followers, according to police records obtained by Insider.
Ms Franke, 41, ran a YouTube channel named “8 Passengers” with her husband Kevin Franke, in which they documented the day-to-day lives of the couple and their six children.
She was arrested on 30 August on child abuse charges after her 12-year-old son allegedly climbed out of a window and desperately asked neighbours for some food and water.
In April 2020, Ms Franke filed a police report, telling an officer that she had received text messages from someone who was threatening her. The messages stated they would “take her family down,” asking her not to post on her social media for a week.
Ms Franke has six children with her husband, Kevin Franke, ranging from adults to teenagers to young children.
In June 2020, another phone call was made by Ms Franke after she received an Instagram DM from an account that shared her home address, stating it was “going looting at the place that actually deserves it.”
After this, a Springville police patrol car was set up in front of Ms Franke’s house.
Yet over time, police records show that calls regarding the Franke residence started to focus on what was going on inside the home rather than her YouTube followers harassing the family.
In 2022, two welfare checks were conducted by police, after concerned neighbours and even Franke’s eldest daughter rang to request one, police documents obtained by Insider show.
Neighbours told police during the welfare check that Ms Franke would repeatedly leave her children home alone while she went to visit business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, who lives several hours away. She allegedly put them under "strict rules to not go anywhere or do anything," according to the neighbours.
Shari Franke, the eldest daughter of the YouTube influencer, requested a wellness check on 18 September 2022 after she heard from neighbours that her mother left her siblings unattended for five days while she was in Utah, the documents state.
Mr and Ms Franke started their YouTube channel in 2015, documenting the everyday lives of their family, and showcasing their strict parenting techniques and punishments, which garnered a lot of criticism online.
It was after a young boy, who was later found to be Ms Franke’s 12-year-old son, climbed out of a window to go and beg neighbours for food and water that police found Ms Franke was allegedly mistreating her children.
Police said that the child “appeared to be emaciated and malnourished, with open wounds and duct tape around the extremities”. Ms Franke was arrested after the police found another child in the house with similar wounds.
She was arrested on 30 August alongside her new business partner Ms Hildebrandt – who ran therapy company Connexions Classroom and appeared in YouTube videos with Ms Franke.
The trial for Ms Franke was scheduled for 21 September, however, the Utah State Court officials said they needed "additional time needed to review copious amounts of discovery," according to KUTV. Court documents say the hearing will be "rescheduled at the convenience of the Court on a date after October 5, 2023," reported Fox 13.