When the 12-year-old son of Ruby Franke showed up at an Ivins, Utah, home emaciated, thirsty and asking for help, the neighbor who answered the door was not totally surprised. It’s clear he knew something was awry at the home, but didn’t know the extent.

“Jodi Hildebrandt is up there right now, so she might come looking for him here soon...All right, we need the cops here as soon as possible...She’s a bad lady. We didn’t realize how bad,” he said.

Through a public records request, the Deseret News and KSL obtained the audio of that 911 call, placed on Aug. 10 after Franke’s son escaped Hildebrandt’s southern Utah home. While Franke’s family lived in Springville, Utah, Hildebrandt lived in the St. George area and through other records requests, it’s clear Franke spent time there.

A common theme in the police records obtained by the Deseret News suggests neighbors thought something was wrong, but couldn’t say for certain. One neighbor told police in Springville that Franke would leave her young children alone for extended periods of time. Another said they contacted a “source” in St. George to confirm Franke had left.

“Everyone who came to the scene was very concerned about the children and them being left at home alone. They expressed great concern about the two youngest children,” a Springville Police Officer wrote in a 2022 report.

Records show ‘8 passengers’ influencer Ruby Franke was on police radar for over a year

In Ivins, Hildebrandt’s neighbor told the dispatcher that they knew of “problems” at her home.

“I just had a 12-year-old boy show up here at my front door asking for help. And he said he just came from a neighbor’s house, and we know there’s been problems at this neighbor’s house. He’s emaciated, he’s got tape around his legs, he’s hungry and he’s thirsty,” the man tells a dispatcher.

As he gets details from the child — his name, how he escaped the home, his age — the man starts to notice the open wounds on the boys extremities.

“He’s very thirsty. I don’t think he needs an ambulance. I’ll let the cops decide that. But his ankles are taped up and he won’t tell us why. He has duct tape around each ankle. Yeah, there’s sores around them,” the man says, as his voice cracks and it sounds like he starts to cry.

“I think there’s a good chance he’s been ... oh, he’s got them around his ankles, I mean his wrists as well! OK, this boy has been, this kid has obviously been, I think he’s been, he’s been detained. He’s obviously covered in wounds,” the man says.

“Does he know his mom’s name?” the dispatcher asks.

“Ruby Franke is his mom’s name,” the man responds.

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The man tries to ask Franke’s son if there are other children tied up at Hildebrandt’s home, but doesn’t get a straight answer. After some muffled discussion, the neighbor tells the dispatcher something that nearly leaves her speechless.

“He says what happened to him is his fault,” the neighbor says.

The dispatcher appears to stumble over her words, before responding: “That’s hard to hear.”

The neighbor and dispatcher then go over some specifics — the officers would arrive shortly thereafter.

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