“An Arizona woman accused of abusing her adopted children who starred on her popular YouTube channel has died, authorities said Wednesday,” the AP reports. “Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said Machelle Hobson died Tuesday at a Phoenix-area hospital. Her death was ruled natural and there was no crime suspected in it, according to Scottsdale police.”
The report adds: “Hobson, 48, had been accused of starving her children and using pepper spray to punish them when they didn’t perform to her liking in the skits that garnered thousands of online views.”
Hobson, who ran the “Fantastic Adventures” YouTube channel, was hospitalized with with what was described as “extreme health issues” at the end of May. She was released from jail custody on June 12 because of her diagnosis, the AP reports, citing a statement from Pinal County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Lauren Reimer.
“Authorities said she hadn’t been hospitalized since then, but it’s not known where she was before she was admitted again,” the AP reports. “A judge in August declared Hobson incompetent to stand trial, the Arizona Republic reported. Hobson’s criminal case was on hold while authorities worked to restore Hobson to competency to stand trial.”
Hobson was accused of locking up children in a closet for days without food, water or access to a bathroom, the report notes.