Man who rescued Jasmine Block donates $7000 reward to her family

Man Who Helped Rescue Alexandria Teen from Kidnappers Gives Back to the Family

Police in Minnesota held a ceremony to reward a man who helped rescue a teenage girl who had been kidnapped and held captive for almost a month.

'I opened the door and told him (Earl Melchert), to call 911.

Earl Melchert, 65, decided that the money would be better spent on Jasmine Block, who had been held captive and abused by three men for a month.

When the two arrived at Mr. Barker's house, he restrained Ms. Block with zip ties, and for the next 29 days, Mr. Barker and two other men, Joshua Holby, 31, and Steven Powers, 20, sexually and physically assaulted her and threatened her with weapons, the police said. Mr. Melchert was the first to find and help her after she escaped but he chose to give her and her family the reward money.

"I could make out her face, and I went, 'Oh my gosh, this is the gal from Alexandria that's been gone for 29 days, '" Melchert said, according to The New York Times.

On the night of August 8, Barker approached Block outside her house and lied to her about needing help with a family situation, police said. "Right away I recognised her".

The chief called her "amazing" and a "young lady with a lot of strength", and Mr. Melchert said she was the "real hero". Mr. Barker was a family acquaintance, Chief Wyffels said, so Ms. Block agreed to accompany him in his vehicle.

"What a retirement present to hand over some money to people that really need it."

Block told WCCO 4 News that she escaped when the men left because they told her it would be an hour before they returned.

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Meeting for the first time on Friday, the teen's mother, Sarah Block, said Elchert was Jasmine's much-needed hero that day.

Speaking out about her ordeal, Jasmine Block told Fox 9 News: 'I was usually in a closet and I usually stayed quiet because I was scared they might hit me or do something'.

"The family needs the money", he told the Times.

"To me, yeah, that's a lot of money, but they need it way worse than I do", he said.

'We wanted to thank him. And he asked if I was the missing girl from Alex and I said "yes"'. "Thank you, Earl, it is people like you that make this world a better place", he wrote.

Melchert told The Voice of Alexandria that the experience has made him look at things differently.

All three suspects have been charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault and false imprisonment.

The family friend who allegedly abducted her, Barker, who suffers from cerebral palsy, admitted he was on methamphetamine and had bee drinking alcohol.

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