Man Helps Kidnapped Girl and Gives Her His $7000 Reward

Man Helps Kidnapped Girl and Gives Her His $7000 Reward

Jasmine had fled from an empty foreclosed home on a nearby lake, swimming part of the lake to escape and find Melchert. "His instinct said someone needed help". It was then that Jasmine ran into Earl Melchert, who said he saw a "speck" rushing toward him in his truck; he tells the New York Times he thought it was a deer at first.

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

'What no one expected was the kindness and generosity that came straight from Earl's heart today. "[I said] 'My name is Jasmine Block and I've been kidnapped.' And he asked if I was the missing girl from Alex and I said 'yes'".

Police said in a previous statement that, according to a preliminary investigation, the teen was approached by Barker, whom she knew, outside her home around 11 p.m. on August 8 "on the pretense that he needed help with a situation".

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

However, at a gathering at the Alexandria Police Department on Friday, Oct. 6, Melchert turned down the reward and instead gave the money to Jasmine. "Thank you, Earl, it is people like you that make this world a better place", he wrote. Mr. Barker was a family acquaintance, Chief Wyffels said, so Ms. Block agreed to accompany him in his vehicle. "He risked a lot of things and put himself in danger". "Things are looking up".

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All three have been arrested and charged with kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. "I still get people calling me going 'way to go, way to go.' I get guys driving down the street hollering out the window going 'way to go Earl!'" Block, who knew of Barker as a neighborhood acquaintance, agreed to help him and got into his vehicle. He restrained Block with zip ties, repeatedly assaulted her and threatened her with weapons, police said.

Sadly, the faked "emergency" became all too real for Jasmine when a man, identified as Barker, kidnapped her from the home. "Right away I recognized her". On Sept. 5, the men went to get food, leaving her alone for the first time.

It was then that she ran into "one awesome individual", Wyffels said.

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

Her older sister, Paige Block, said she looked up to Melchert as a hero. "Not many, but there still is, and he's one of them".

The two families talked about the girl's recovery process, and how she was back in school attending classes for a few hours a day, Jody Melchert said. "To me, yeah, that's a lot of money, but they need it way [more] than I do".

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