A mother who ran a popular Youtube channel and was arrested for child abuse and other charges has died.
Machelle Hobson—aka Machelle Hackney—ran the channel Fantastic Adventures which featured her children in scripted videos.
The popular channel had over 800,000 followers and earned thousands of dollars for the family. YouTube took it down in light of the allegations.
An Arizona woman accused of abusing her adopted children who starred on her popular YouTube channel has died. Police say Machelle Hobson died by natural causes. https://t.co/Sgx7jKsU4j
— AP West Region (@APWestRegion) November 13, 2019
Hobson was arrested and charged with child abuse, molestation, child neglect and unlawful imprisonment in March of this year.
Machelle Hobson, the Maricopa "Youtube Mom" facing dozens of child abuse charges, has died.
Maricopa PD tells ABC15 she died at a Scottsdale hospital this morning.
Her trial was being delayed due to her "competency" and health issues.https://t.co/0DTMIjQyul
— Zach Crenshaw (@ZachCrenshaw) November 13, 2019
The arrest was made after Hobson’s 19 year old daughter, Megan, gave a tip to police that her siblings were being tortured for not participating in the videos.
Fellow Youtube parents were disturbed by the allegations.
Youtubers Tawny and Zeb Schnorr and their children once teamed up with Hobson for an episode of Fantastic Adventures.
Zeb told Inside Edition:
“That’s by far the worst part, that I didn’t pick up on anything.”
Tawny had a tearful message of hope for the kids:
“There’s a family out there waiting for you that will love you and treat you the way you deserve to be treated.”
When police made a wellness check to the family’s home in Maricopa, Arizona, they found the children to be malnourished.
The seven children, who were adopted and between the ages of three and fifteen, told police that they were often starved, beaten, and pepper sprayed if they made errors while filming. The children had also been kept out of school for years.
Hobson died in a Scottsdale, Arizona hospital on Tuesday.
Police told ABC15 that Hobson was in a wheelchair for a March 29 court appearance. She had apparently suffered a brain injury, possibly an aneurism, while in jail. She was consequentially declared incompetent to stand trial.
Hobson had been deemed unfit to stand trial in August after suffering a brain injury while in custody. https://t.co/k1sJE9i87o
— Jessica Suerth (@suerthjessica) November 13, 2019
Police do not plan on investigating her death further.
Charges against Hobson will be dismissed after her death certificate is released, but courts will continue to pursue Hobson’s assets.
Happens. My grandpa died of a Heartattack in his late thirties and from what I'm told, he was a lot fitter than she is looking.
— Lucas (@lucimon97) November 13, 2019
Redditors and Twitter users voiced concern for the children’s welfare.
Sub116610 commented on a Reddit post about Hobson’s death:
“I just hope they are able to get help early enough and stick with it.”
So sad all the way around. I mean greed is evil and for her to do what she did was wrong Idk but people make their bed and they have to lay in it. What’s sad is the kids. She got away. She’s gone. The kids suffer now. Her money belongs to the kids not the older kids either.
— Johnny J. Ramirez (@Ramirez3Johnny) November 13, 2019
Any seized money will go to the seven children who are now back in the state’s custody.
Charges against two of Hobson’s older children for failure to report the abuse were dropped prior to her death.