Having a child go missing is every parent’s worst nightmare. Not knowing where they are is a torturous feeling, but sometimes the reality can be even worse.
It is an especially evil person who tears a child from their family and who takes advantage of the young and vulnerable.
One teen from Minnesota miraculously survived a kidnapping ordeal, but not without having to endure a lot of things that no 15-year-old should ever have to go through.
Jasmine Block from Alexandria, Minnesota, was abducted from her home for almost a month.
The entire community was rightfully worried about her, and it turns out that their concern was justified.
Luckily, Jasmine was able to be returned home to her family in one piece after a stranger helped to do his civic duty and give Jasmine the help she needed when she frantically knocked on his door.
[H/T: New York Times]
Jasmine had been missing for 29 days when she finally found an opportunity to make a run for it and return to safety.
Authorities said that Jasmine was tricked by someone she knew and had little reason not to trust.
Police have said that a family acquaintance, Thomas Barker, allegedly came to the Block’s house while Jasmine was home alone. He is said to have told her that he needed help with a family emergency.
Authorities said that the “emergency” became all too real for Jasmine when Thomas allegedly kidnapped her from the home.
Police records stated that Thomas and two other men proceeded to zip-tie Jasmine, then keep her in a closet.
As time passed and no one heard from Jasmine, the Alexandria police department decided to help incentivize the community for information regarding her safe return, offering a substantial reward.
An anonymous donor provided $5,000, while the Block family offered $2,000.
Unfortunately, the community was stymied. In the end, Jasmine had to rescue herself.
It took a number of days for the teen to find an opportunity to escape. She reports being threatened with weapons, and assaulted during her abduction by all three of the men.
On September 5, she was in a rural area with her abductors when they left her alone in their truck for an hour to get food.
Jasmine made a run for it, and even swam across a lake to get away from them.
She ended up on the property of Earl Melchert, who said he knew who she was right away when she frantically knocked on his door looking for help.
Earl, who works at a nearby fertilizer plant, never planned to be home that day; he had just returned to the house to pick up something he had forgotten.
After Earl helped reunite Jasmine with her family, the police offered him the $7,000 reward money for his help in aiding Jasmine in her moment of need.
Earl, who retired this past month, firmly refused the cash. Instead, he very selflessly gave the money to someone who needed it a little more than he did: Jasmine.
Jasmine had to knock on the doors of several homes before ending up at Earl’s, but maybe it was meant to be.
Amazingly, Jasmine was even able to help the police catch the suspected kidnappers by identifying their car.
The three men accused of kidnapping and holding Jasmine are now in police custody, with further investigation pending.
Earl agrees that Jasmine was the real hero in the situation, which is why he decided to forgo his reward money and give it to Jasmine instead.
Earl says giving Jasmine his reward money was “the best thing I’ve ever done.”
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