PHOENIX (KTLA) -- An Arizona woman accused of abusing her adopted children who starred on her popular YouTube channel has died, authorities said Wednesday.
Maricopa Police Department spokesman Ricardo Alvarado said Machelle (Hackney) 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.
Hobson, 48, had been accused of starving her children and using pepper spray to punish them.
Authorities have said Hobson locked up children in a closet for days without food, water or access to a bathroom.
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.
YouTube terminated Hobson’s channel after determining the channel violated its guidelines. Episodes featured skits about children stealing cookies and a boy with superpowers.
KNXV-TV reported that the Pinal County Attorney’s Office planned to wait for an official death certificate before dismissing charges against Hobson but would pursue her assets, including “more than $100,000 in cash” that would go to her children now in state custody.