Minnesota Man Helps Rescue a Kidnapped Teen, Then Gives Her His $7,000 Reward

Nick Kangadis | October 9, 2017

A selfless act by a selfless man in Minnesota is drawing praise from the local police department.

Fifteen-year-old Jasmine Block was kidnapped in August and held against her will for a month by “family acquaintance Thomas Barker,” according to Fox 9 - Minneapolis.

The young girl eventually got an opportunity to escape while the kidnappers “went to the store to get some food.”

Block’s family members and “an anonymous donor” had even raised funds to offer a reward to anyone that had information leading to her return. 

According to Fox 9:

Jasmine reports that she had been left alone in one of the suspect's trucks in rural Barrett, Minnesota and she ran as fast as she could. She swam across a portion of a Grant County lake before finding help from a local farmer in his vehicle, who immediately recognized her as the missing teen.

The local farmer was eventually identified as Earl Melchert.

Melchert recognized the missing girl after she had crossed the lake and ran towards him asking for help. Melchert called 911 and authorities picked up Block from Melchert’s location.

According to Fox 32 - Chicago:

When law enforcement presented Melchert the reward money, he gave the check to Block as well as a big hug, calling her the "real hero."

Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels says the move shocked everyone in attendance Friday, calling it a showing of "kindness and generosity that came straight from Earl's heart."

"Thank you Earl. It is people like you that make this world a better place," wrote Chief Wyffels in a Facebook post.

Thank you very much indeed, Mr. Melchert.

Here is video from the reward presentation involving both Block and Melchert: