Controversial YouTube parenting vlogger Ruby Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, charged last week with a child abuse felony, were reportedly moved to Utah Jail’s medical block after experiencing undisclosed health issues since being arrested last month.
YouTube channel ‘8 Passengers,’ Ruby Franke and Jodi Hilebrandt, the founder of the parent counseling service ConneXions, were arrested on August 30 because of reports of child abuse. The duo were accused of starving Franke’s children to a point where they were emaciated and had their hands and legs bound in duct tape as a twisted disciplinary measure.
The abuse was exposed after one of Franke’s children escaped from Jodi Hilebrandt’s home, where they were held captive and sought out a neighbor who called 911.
In the wake of the arrest and subsequent charges, Ruby Franke has faced immense public backlash over her controversial parenting methods. While the attention has largely been focused on the YouTube vlogger and her family due to Franke’s influencer status over the years, Jodi Hildebrant has managed to avoid public scrutiny as her life has remained private. In this article, we explore Jodi Hildebrandt’s family life amid the ongoing trial.
What we know about Jodi Hildebrandt in the wake of her arrest for child abuse
Jodi Hildebrandt, 54, is a life coach, author, and the creator of Connexions in Utah, which touts itself as a counseling service for parents. Hildebrandt is also a divorced mother of two. While not much is known about her kids, multiple reports identified one of them as Addison Hildebrandt through Jodi’s Connections videos. In the clips, Jodi often invoked her name in reference to the inspiration for her parenting practices.
Additionally, we also know Jodi was married to Brenten C. Pugh, who is the father of her children. The couple, who tied the knot in 1999, reportedly separated in 2012.
While additional details regarding Jodi’s life are unavailable as she has lived a relative private life, in a recent interview with KUTV 2 News Jodi’s niece revealed the disturbing details in the case are reminiscent of Hildebrandt’s extreme parenting methods.
The niece Jessi Hildebrandt, who was allegedly in Jodi’s care for a year when she was a child, revealed that she believed that her aunt coached Ruby about the twisted parenting practices. Jessi said that when she was a child, she experienced severe emotional and psychological abuse where she was tied, starved, isolated and repeatedly told she was not fit enough to be in public.
Incidentally, in the 911 audio dispatch call that led to Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt’s arrest, the dispatcher can be heard telling the responding officer that the neighbor alleged Franke’s child had “open wounds and duct tape around each ankle.”
Ruby Franke and Jodi Hildebrandt’s connection explored.
Ruby and Kevin Franke, a Mormon couple with six children – Shari, Chad, Abby, Julie, Russel, and Eve were behind the ‘8 Passengers’ YouTube vlogging channel, which launched in 2015. The channel, which gained nearly 2.3 million subscribers was shut down after she faced backlash over her parenting methods.
Shortly after Franke aligned herself with ConneXions, a parenting and business counseling service spearheaded by Jodi Hildebrandt. She then announced the two would be launching a podcast where they would dole out parenting advice and discuss various cultural issues.
Last week, a judge decided Franke and Hildebrandt, who are facing six felony counts of child abuse, would be held without bail. The duo, whose bond hearings are slated for 21 September, are facing 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000 under Utah law.