08 September, 2017
At a press conference, Chief Richard Wyffels revealed that Block been kidnapped by a family friend, held against her will and repeatedly assaulted by three men for several weeks.
Officials with the Alexandria Police Department announced Tuesday, September 7, 2017 that they had located Jasmine Block, 15, in Grant County, Minnesota. They were later identified as Thomas Barker, 32; Joshua Holby, 31; and Steven Powers, 20, according to the WCCO-TV. She reportedly agreed to get into his auto, and he drove her to his home, where Josh Holby also lives.
She was driven to his home where he zip-tied her and invited two other friends over. Steven Powers arrived to the home about two weeks later and allegedly participated in the ongoing assaults.
Chief Wyffels said this was the first time in 29 days she had the opportunity to escape. The teenager knocked on several doors in the immediate area without any response, then swam across Thompson Lake to get away from the foreclosed home in which she had been held for nearly a month. Police say it is still an active investigation and they're not releasing the names of the people arrested yet.
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Three men are charged with kidnapping, sexual assault and other felony counts in connection with the disappearance of a 15-year-old Alexandria girl. The two got in the farmer's auto and were headed to Elbow Lake when Block recognized one of the vehicles of the suspect. She then jumped into the Thompson Lake and swam across. Wonderful people. And the victim is now safe with her mother'. "When Jasmine escaped, she bravely ran from door to door of nearby properties trying to find someone to help". When she returned, Jasmine was gone but her belongings were still at home.
Her mother told Dateline last month that she saw her daughter laying on the couch in their mobile home before she went out that night.
The farmer made a decision to help her, he said, "It was just a great feeling, (I told her) 'just get in the pickup, we're going to help you now'".
Wyffels explained that Barker, a family acquaintance, had conned Block by saying he required help with some kind of family situation.