'Fantastic Adventures' YouTube mom accused of abusing her children has died


Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said Machelle Hobson died Tuesday at a Phoenix-area hospital.

The Pinal County Attorney's Office told ABC15 on Tuesday evening, November 12 they would wait for an official death certificate before dismissing charges, but would continue to pursue Hobson's assets, including more than $100,000 in cash.

To punish what Hobson perceived as subpar performance on the YouTube show - which garnered almost 800,000 subscribers and hundreds of millions of views on YouTube - the woman would allegedly beat the children with belts and hangers, assault them with pepper spray and force them to take ice baths, according to court documents.

Officers who went to Hobson's home said they discovered a child in an unlocked closet wearing only a pull-up diaper, and they described other children in the house as looking pale and underweight with bags under their eyes, according to authorities.

YouTube has since terminated Hobson's channel, which featured skits about children stealing cookies or a boy with superpowers, after determining the channel violated its guidelines.

In March, the mother of seven was arrested and accused of 30 counts of kidnapping and child abuse after a welfare check was conducted at her home.

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Hobson had pleaded not guilty to the charges against her before her death, but had been ruled incompetent to stand trial by state and defense doctors in August. But county attorney Kent Volkmer said in a news conference that he was saddened by the death, according to the Maricopa Monitor. He said he wasn't able to elaborate on Hobson's medical condition.

The Arizona Department of Child Safety removed the seven children from Hobson's custody and they're now in foster or group homes.

Investigators had said they found two cans of pepper spray in Hobson's bedroom.

Police have said the children were taken out of school so they could keep filming the video series and hadn't been back for years.

Her two biological sons, who were arrested over the allegations, will not be charged in the case, police later confirmed. Volkmer said part of the investigation was focused on locating her assets and seizing them, since the profits were directly related to the alleged abuse.