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Neighbors witnessed the raid and recorded portions on cellphone video. (Fox News Digital)
Utah mommy bloggers Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt’s arrests last week came after one of Franke’s six children apparently escaped Hildebrandt’s residence through a window and asked a neighbor for help, court documents show.
The neighbor saw “duct tape” wrapped around the minor victim’s “ankles and wrists” and contacted law enforcement, according to a probable cause affidavit from the Santa Clara-Ivins Public Safety Department.
Upon arrival, police noticed that the child had “wounds” and was severely malnourished, so they took him to a nearby hospital for treatment. He “was placed on a medical hold due to his deep lacerations from being tied up with rope and from his malnourishment,” the affidavit states.
Law enforcement located one of Franke’s children — also malnourished — inside Hildebrandt’s home after the first child contacted police. The child “initially refused medical” assistance but was later taken to the hospital, the affidavit states.
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Utah authorities found two malnourished and emaciated children at a home prior to arresting Franke and Hildebrandt. (Instagram / moms_of_truth)
Franke and Hildebrandt, who ran a popular parenting and lifestyle advice blog on YouTube called ConneXions Classroom, have been charged with six counts of child abuse each in connection with the alleged abuse of two children. The women were arrested on Aug. 30 after Santa Clara police received a dispatch call around 10:50 p.m. from a juvenile asking for help, police said in a press release.
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Police rescued a total of six children from Hildebrandt’s Washington County home.
One of Franke’s daughters, Shari Franke, posted a photo to her Instagram Story on Thursday that showed a police car parked on a suburban street with the caption “Finally.” (Instagram / officialsharifranke)
“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. It further states that Franke was “present in the home and having knowledge of the abuse, malnourishment, and neglect” of her two children at Hildebrandt’s residence.
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Franke immediately “requested a lawyer” and refused to speak with police at the time of her arrest, according to the affidavit. Her attorney did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News Digital.
Ruby Franke, right, and business partner Jodi Hildebrandt were arrested and charged on Aug. 30 after Santa Clara police received a dispatch call around 10:50 p.m. asking for help. (Instagram / moms_of_truth)
Police requested that Franke and Hildebrandt be held without bail.
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Franke and Hildebrandt are facing six counts each of aggravated child abuse for “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.
Blogger Ruby Franke is facing two counts of child abuse following an Aug. 30 incident in Utah. (Instagram / moms_of_truth)
Franke’s daughter, Shari Franke, posted a photo to her Instagram Stories on Thursday that showed a police car parked on a suburban street with the caption “Finally.” In another Instagram Story that followed, Shari shared a statement.
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“Hi all. Today has been a big day,” she wrote. “Me and my family are so glad justice is being served. We’ve been trying to tell police and CPS for years about this, and so glad they finally decided to step up. Kids are safe, but there’s a long road ahead. Please keep them in your prayers and also respect their privacy.”
Both women are currently in custody at the Washington County Jail in Hurricane, Utah.
Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to [email protected] or on Twitter at @audpants.