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Minnesota man who aided kidnapped girl gives her his reward

Minnesota man who aided kidnapped girl gives her his reward”

A Minnesota man who helped a missing teenager, gave the reward money he was gifted back to the girl, who was held captive by three men for almost a month.

The Voice of Alexandria reports Melchert and his wife joined the Block family for lunch afterwards. At an event at the Alexandria Police Department last Friday, Melchert was able to see Jasmine for the first time since her rescue.

Earl Melchert presents his reward cheque to Jasmine Block (far left) and her mother Sarah (centre). He immediately alerted police.

"I was usually in a closet and I usually stayed quiet because I was scared they might hit me or do something", she said, according to Fox 9. It went national. It was on posters, in stores, her face, her picture.

Earl Melchert, 65, of Barrett, turned the reward money over to the girl Friday at police headquarters.

'He believes that young lady that came running towards him that September day is the real hero, and without hesitation, Earl handed the reward over to her, followed by a big hug. "Thank you, Earl, it is people like you that make this world a better place", he wrote.

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

"The family needs the money", he said.

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

After realising it was Block, who had disappeared from her Minnesota home 29 days earlier, he put the 15-year-old into his pick-up truck and called police.

Investigators said Barker allegedly admitted he was drinking and using methamphetamine when he and the other two men took Block prisoner.

She said she seized her opportunity to escape her captors when she was left alone in the suspect's auto in rural Barrett, Minnesota.

"This was the first time she'd been left alone in 29 days", Mr Wyffels said. She ran from the vehicle as fast as she possible could, eventually coming to Grant County lake.

They are alleged to have threatened her with weapons at various different addresses within the vicinity of Mr Melchert's home.

For nearly a month, it is alleged that Barker and two other men - Joshua Holby, 31, and Steve Powers, 20 - sexually and physically assaulted her.

Mr Wyffels said Ms Block was an "unbelievable young woman". Upon getting to Barker's home, police say he allegedly restrained her with zip ties.



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