CRIME

Body camera shows Springville officers breaking into Ruby Franke’s home after children found in Ivins

Jun 10, 2024, 6:23 PM | Updated: Jun 11, 2024, 9:15 pm

Springville police Officers preparing to break down the front door of Ruby Franke's Springville hom...

Springville police Officers preparing to break down the front door of Ruby Franke's Springville home on An officer reading one of the written diaries in Franke's Springville home on Aug. 30, 2023. (The Springville Police Department)

(The Springville Police Department)

SPRINGVILLE — Body camera footage shows the police response to Ruby Franke’s Springville house after her two children were found emaciated and hurt in Ivins on Aug. 30, 2023.

In the body camera footage from the Springville Police Department, officers arrived at Franke’s home at approximately 4 p.m. They began to call out for Franke and her other two children, who were reportedly at the house.

The footage showed armed officers searching the backyard of Franke’s home for an open door, window, or any signs of someone inside the house.

A Springville officer trying to open a lock door of Franke's backyard.

A Springville officer trying to open a locked door of Franke’s backyard on Aug. 30, 2023. (Springville Police Department)

In the footage, officers continued to knock on the front door, commanding Franke or the two children to come out, or police would use force to enter.

“If you don’t open the door, we will force entry into the home; we do not want to do that,” an officer yelled at the front door. “Please open the door. Open the door and talk to us so we can resolve this.”

Springville police officers at the home of Ruby Franke after two of her children where found on Aug. 30, 2023.

Springville police officers at the home of Ruby Franke after two of her children were found on Aug. 30, 2023. (Springville Police Department)

While waiting for a warrant, officers spoke to each other about why they were called to Franke’s home.

“The way they were found, she said those kids were starving and in a safe. They cut the safe room to get them out,” an officer said to another Springville officer. “The mom has been apparently going down every other weekend or something to St. George, so these kids have been starving.”

In the footage, a Springville officer began to speak to another police agency on the phone for more details about why they were at the home.

“DCFS is telling us that there are two children that are missing and endangered here,” the officer said to the person on the phone. “DCFS advised they have information that (Franke) is here at the home here in Springville.”

Officers speaking outside of Franke's Springville home before making a forced entry on Aug. 30, 2023.

Officers speaking outside of Franke’s Springville home before making a forced entry on Aug. 30, 2023. (Springville Police Department)

After speaking to the person on the phone, the Springville officer said they would wait until they had a warrant to enter the house.

At the time, officers did not know that Franke was driving to Ivins and the two girls were at a friend’s home in American Fork.

The footage shows officers waiting for a warrant until 5:20 p.m. and making forced entry into Franke’s home by breaking down the front door.

Officers preparing to break down the front door of Franke's Springville home on An officer reading one of the written diaries in Franke's Springville home on Aug. 30, 2023.

Officers preparing to break down the front door of Franke’s Springville home on Aug. 30, 2023. (Springville Police Department)

In the body camera footage, police were seen searching the basement, living room, kitchen, several bedrooms, the garage, and the attic. Footage also shows what appears to be a classroom area and a studio space with a soundproofed closet and a microphone on a desk.

During the search of the basement, an officer found an unlocked, gun safe with at least two shotguns and several boxes of ammunition. In the footage, an officer said they found “tons of phones” downstairs that belonged to Franke.

In one of the rooms, officers found written diaries that are believed to belong to Franke’s children in one of the shared bedrooms.

“August 29th, it’s yesterday,” said an officer, reading an entry. “’Morning shift was boring, place must be done by 8:30. We were able to get a good chunk’ … I can’t read this.”

“‘I got all the utensils and knives packed in their wooden boxes,'” another officer said out loud, reading the same entry. “‘I have most of the kitchen done by now … I listen to Christmas music mostly … I packed the computer in the grand room.’ So she is backing all of the house by herself.”

An officer reading one of the written diaries in Franke's Springville home on Aug. 30, 2023.

An officer reading one of the written diaries in Franke’s Springville home on Aug. 30, 2023. (Springville Police Department)

In evidence released to the media on March 22, Franke was planning to move to a desolate area in Arizona with her children and assigned one of her older daughters to work on packing the Springville home for two weeks. After reading through the diary, the officer placed it back in the bedroom and continued the search with other officers for more evidence.

On Feb. 20, Franke and her business partner Jodi Hildebrandt, were issued four sentences of one to 15 years in prison on four counts of aggravated child abuse. Franke is known for her now-deleted 8 Passengers YouTube channel, and Hildebrandt was the founder of Orem-based mental health company Connexions Classroom.

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Body camera shows Springville officers breaking into Ruby Franke’s home after children found in Ivins