SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The so-called “YouTube mom” who was accused of abusing her adopted children and forcing them to star in social media videos has died.
The Maricopa Police Department confirmed that Machelle Hobson died Tuesday morning at a Scottsdale health facility. She was 47. Police said she died of natural causes and no foul play is suspected.
There was mention of Hobson's health at a competency hearing in August. She was not present at that proceeding, but rather at an undisclosed facility. The Honorable Delia Neal pronounced her incompetent but restorable. Neal also noted at the time that Hobson's medical condition made her situation unique, but did not elaborate.
Hobson was facing 30 counts, including kidnapping, child abuse and aggravated assault. A Pinal County grand jury indicted her on March 25. She pleaded not guilty a couple of days later. A photo from court showed her in a wheelchair.
Hobson’s YouTube channel had more than 700,000 subscribers and topped 242 million video views. Before her arrest, she was on pace to make $1 million this year.
The Pinal County Attorney's Office said Tuesday night that Hobson's attorney informed them about her death. Once a death certificate is issued, the case will be dismissed.
Neighbors who lived near the family in Maricopa said they don't really know what to think about Hobson's death.
"I thought it was kind of justice, not in the way she died, but she was already gonna claim insanity," said William Senne.
Senne said he has his own adopted children.
"When you take kids in, they want a safe home," said Senne. "When you do things like that, it just makes people that do try to do the right thing, puts a bad taste in your mouth."
One neighbor said she would have loved to take the kids but wouldn't want them to be so close to where they had such a traumatic experience.