Man who found missing Minnesota girl gives $7G reward to her

Pauline Gross
October 10, 2017

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.

Earl Melchert first saw 15-year-old Jasmine Block when he returned to his home in Alexandria, Minnesota last month in order to retrieve a diesel can that he had forgotten to grab earlier that day.

In what police call an incredible example of kindness, Melchert gave the $7,000 reward back to Block.

The girl's mother said she had been waiting to meet Melchert.

In August, 15-year-old Jasmine Block was abducted and brought to a secluded mobile home.

She managed to escape and swam across part of a lake before coming across Melchert, who immediately called police for help.

"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. Police say she had been had been abducted and held against her will by three men for almost one month before escaping the afternoon of September 5.

He called Jasmine Block the "real hero", and apparently handed the reward over without hesitation.

It was the first time Sarah Block had met Melchert.

The reward money was offered by the girl's family to anyone who had information on her whereabouts, along with an anonymous donor. He told Wyffels in a phone call that he "could use that money more now than ever", the police chief recounted during the presentation, "but it wouldn't be right".

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Amazingly, Jasmine was even able to help the police seize her perpetrators by identifying their vehicle nearby.

"I would have been there (at home) about a minute", Melchert said.

Melchert told the New York Times that Block's family needed the money. "To me, yeah, that's a lot of money, but they need it way [more] than I do".

"I was in the right place at the right time", he said.

"Jasmine is in school and they're adding more classes", Sarah told the Pioneer Press. We wanted to thank him. "She has her therapy dog and is playing with her friends again".

"Thank you Earl, it is people like you that make this world a better place". "He risked a lot of things and put himself in danger".

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

They each have been charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault and false imprisonment.

At that point, Barker allegedly drove her to his home, where "he restrained her with zip ties, repeatedly assaulted her and threatened her with weapons", police said.

Other reports by GizPress

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