Man Gives Reward To Kidnapping Victim

Casey Dawson
October 10, 2017

A Minnesota farmer who received $7,000 for finding a missing 15-year-old girl offered her his reward money and called the teen "the real hero". But Earl Melchert had other ideas.

For almost a month, the 15-year-old girl from the nearby town of Alexandria had been held captive in a mobile home by three men.

Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said on Facebook: 'Today we witnessed an incredible example of kindness.

Police say Ms. Block was held captive for almost a month and was sexually and physically assaulted.

But after 29 days of captivity, she managed to escape, swimming across part of a lake and running through a field until she reached Melchert.

"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. He told her he needed help with a family situation, Richard Wyffels, the Alexandria police chief, said at a news conference.

"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.

The police department explained Melchert's reasoning for not accepting the money: "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".

Melchert got Block to safety. "I want to present this check to you and Jasmine".

Her family posted the reward money seeking information about her whereabouts along with an anonymous donor.

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

"In fact I've told this story so many times I can't forget it", he said.

Jasmine is said to have escaped when her captors went out to eat.

"I've been waiting to meet him", she said.

"The family needs the money", he explained. "To me, yeah, that's a lot of money, but they need it way [more] than I do". "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 wrote.

"We can't thank you enough for what you did", the mother told Melchert on Friday.

Melchert told The Voice of Alexandria that the experience has made him look at things differently. "He risked a lot of things and put himself in danger".

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

The three suspects have since been located and charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault and false imprisonment, Fox News reported.

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