Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Kidnapped teenage girl is "the real hero"

Earl Melchert, 65, was driving his truck on his farm in Alexandria, Minnesota on September 5 when he saw something moving in the tall grass. He recalls, "When she came walking out of the grass, I'm thinking, 'You've got to be kidding me.'" After seeing missing person posters for weeks, he knew right away it was 15-year-old Jasmine Block. She went missing from her family home in Alexandria on August 8, after getting into a friend's car to help with "a relationship problem." He had driven her to his home, where she was restrained with zip ties and assaulted by her captor and two of his friends for the next 29 days.

While in captivity, Jasmine was taken to several locations, including a foreclosed lake home in Grant County. Thats where, when her kidnappers left to get some food, she bravely ran to neighboring houses to find help, Finding nobody at home, she swam across a portion of Thompson Lake, coming ashore at the farm where Melchert saw her. He told her, "Just get in the pick-up and we're going to help you now," and they sped to the nearest town to alert police, who soon captured all three suspects. But the best was yet to come. A few days later, as Jasmine watched, police gave Melchert a $7,000 reward for helping them find the teen. As soon as the chief handed Melchert the check, he turned and gave it to Jasmine. He said he believes the young lady who came running toward him that day is "the real hero."

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