New details are emerging about the Arizona family at the center of allegations that an abusive suspect forced her adopted children to perform skits for a popular YouTube channel.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, 48-year-old Machelle Hackney created the “Fantastic Adventures” channel, which racked up many millions of views with videos starring kids authorities now say were starved, forced to take ice baths and endure other forms of physical abuse.
Two of her adult sons are reportedly also under scrutiny, facing allegations that they failed to report the abuse they witnessed.
Though the kids might have seemed happy while recording videos, one neighbor said she saw a possible darker side when the camera stopped rolling.
According to Sarisa Fragua, Hobson and the kids were rarely out in the neighborhood. She said the children appeared to be withdrawn and unhappy when she saw them a handful of times.
While she took note of their apparent demeanor, Fragua said she never witnessed any evidence of physical abuse.
As of the latest updates available, Hackney remained behind bars with bond set at $200,000.
[Featured image: Machelle Hackney, Pinal County Sheriff’s Office]