The sad, unfortunate saga of two Maryland children has hopefully come to an end, which is detailed in the above video recorded by the children’s biological mother and her custody lawyer on Monday. Rose Hall says that her children are doing well after having been placed in emergency custody and removed from the home of their father, Mike Martin, and stepmother Heather by Child Protective Services last Friday — the so-called “pranksters” behind the now-notorious YouTube channel, DaddyOfFive.
Founded in August of 2015 and boasting over 750,000 subscribers, the channel depicted the blended family life of Mike and Heather, which included his children, 12-year-old Emma and nine-year-old Cody, as well as Heather’s older three sons. However the couple also used the channel to film cruel “pranks” the expense of their children — particularly young Cody — which oftentimes Heather’s older boys would film. These pranks included stunts like smashing Cody’s XBox with a hammer and telling him that they were putting him up for adoption. You know, hilarious “pranks!”
Back in mid-April however, the YouTube channel finally began to raise some questions of child abuse after one stunt in particular went viral, in which Heather squirted invisible ink all over the carpet. She and, along with her husband, then proceeded to blame the mess on a sobbing and terrified Cody. “Get your f*cking ass up here,” Heather can be heard screaming at Cody in the beginning of the six-minute long video. “What the f*ck did you do?”
In response to the video, other YouTubers like Philip DeFranco released videos of their own to put a spotlight on the abuse, and an online petition asking Child Protective Services to intervene gathered close to 20,000 signatures. Mike and Heather eventually filmed the above apology, removing all other videos from their channel, but on Friday the children were returned to their mother Hall in North Carolina.
In the video, Hall and her lawyer, Tim Conlon of the Custody Place, thank the YouTube community for persisting and helping to get her children back. Conlon states that since being returned, Cody and Emma have been in a “deprogramming sort of mode,” but it already seems as if they’re doing much, much better.