A 15-year-old girl in Minnesota has been found safe and without any serious injuries after disappearing last month. But she suffered a traumatic ordeal in the 29 days she was allegedly held captive by three adult men.
NBC News reports that police located Jasmine Block in Grant County this week, nearly a month after she disappeared from her Alexandria home.
Three men are now in custody on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment, and assault. The suspects have been identified as Thomas Barker, 32, and Joshua Holby, 31, both of Carlos; and Steven Powers, 20, of Mankato.
Police told Echo Press that Jasmine was previously acquainted with at least one of the suspects. According to the police timeline, Thomas Barker approached the 15-year-old outside her home on August 8, asking for help with an unspecified situation. She reportedly agreed to get into his car, and he drove her to his home, where Josh Holby also lives.
There, Barker allegedly restrained her with zip ties and he and Holby assaulted her, while threatening her with weapons. Steven Powers arrived to the home about two weeks later and allegedly participated in the ongoing assaults.
On Tuesday afternoon, the men reportedly left Jasmine alone for the first time while they went out for lunch. She ran from the home and sought help by knocking on neighbors’ doors, before swimming across the lake. On the other side, she found a resident at home who could help her.
Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels reportedly said Jasmine is “an amazing young lady with a lot of strength.”
The teenager was reportedly taken to the hospital with minor injuries and has since been reunited with her family.
“I just want to say thank you for helping for never giving up!” Sarah Block reportedly wrote on Facebook Tuesday night. “I also ask to respect Jasmine myself and her sisters as we have been apart 4 weeks and it’s been a lot so give space.”
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Jasmine disappeared from home on August 8, after she had spent the day on a sailing trip with friends. Her mother told police that Jasmine came home early with a migraine, and was resting on the couch when her mother went out to attend to a family emergency. Jasmine’s older sister and her boyfriend were reportedly home at the time.
When the mother returned, Jasmine was gone, but her personal items were left behind.
NBC News reports that more details about the arrested are expected on Wednesday.
This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.
Feature photo: Alexandria Police