Documents: Ruby Franke used cayenne pepper, honey to treat wounds

Posted at 4:56 PM, September 20, 2023 and last updated 9:46 PM, September 21, 2023

By: Melanie Porter

IVINS, Utah (Scripps News Salt Lake City) — Handcuffs, bandage wraps, rope and technology devices were seized from Jodi Hildebrandt’s home in Ivins, Utah after a child with signs of abuse escaped to a neighbor’s house.

Ruby Franke Jodi Hildebrant

Ruby Franke, left, and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt, right, made first appearances in a Utah courtroom Friday, Sept. 8, 2023. Each woman is charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse in connection with the alleged abuse of Franke’s children. (Scripps News Salt Lake City)

The new information was revealed in search warrants recently released by police following the arrest of YouTube star Ruby Franke and her business partner, Jodi Hildebrandt.

Both women were charged with six counts each of felony child abuse.

In total, three warrants were served shortly after the arrests.

One warrant included a statement from the 12-year-old victim, who had duct tape around his ankles and wrists when he escaped through a window to a neighbor’s house seeking food and water.

When medical teams took the duct tape off the child, who they described as “abnormally thin and weak,” they found open wounds, the search warrant states.

Listen: Neighbor Weeps in 911 Call After Franke Son Escapes From Home

According to the warrant, the victim told responders that the wounds were from the rope that “was used to tie the victim to the ground.”

“The victim informed officers that ‘Jodi’ put the ropes on their ankles and wrists and that ‘they’ used cayenne pepper and honey to dress the wounds,” documents state.

A separate search warrant said officers found medical gauze dressings, “near cayenne pepper and honey paste,” it states.

The victim also told officers that his 10-year-old and 14-year-old siblings were still in the home. Upon searching the premises, officers were only able to locate the one other child.

Documents also detailed that the 12-year-old child, as well as his sibling, were taken to the hospital due to “deep lacerations from being tied up with rope…and malnourishment.”

During the protective sweep, officers also found a “possible safe room” in the basement that was locked. It was unknown if anybody was inside. The possible safe room was not mentioned again in the warrants.

Other items seized during the search warrant included two bowls with red liquids and metal spoons, three ropes, two handcuffs, papers, sticky notes, journals, tape, saran wrap, bandages, a black book, smartphones, laptops and paperwork.

Once her charges were read to Hildebrandt, she requested a lawyer and did not speak to officers, saying instead the children, “should never be allowed around any other kids.”

Hildebrandt and Franke were expected to make their second court appearance in the child abuse case earlier this week in southern Utah. Their hearing was postponed until “after October 5” at the request of lawyers due to “copious amounts of information.”

This story was originally published by Scripps News Salt Lake City, an E.W. Scripps Company.