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10 October 2017, 12:38 | Damon Campbell
He rescued a kidnapped Minnesota girl. Here's what he did with the $7K reward
A Minnesota farmer was presented with a $7,000 reward for finding a missing teenage girl - and then just moments later gave the money to the girl, who was a captive of three men for a month.
Block swam across the body of water, running into Melchert - a local farmer - in a vehicle on the other side.
The 15-year-old was abducted on August 8 and taken to a home where police said three men sexually assaulted her and held her captive for 29 days, the Twin Cities Pioneer Press reported.
Police say Ms. Block was held captive for almost a month and was sexually and physically assaulted.
Shaken as she was after her escape, she was still able to help police find her kidnappers.
"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 told the paper. He told her he needed help with a family situation, Richard Wyffels, the Alexandria police chief, said at a news conference. She's probably the strongest person I have ever known'.
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 gave it to Block.
"What a retirement present to hand over some money to people that really need it."
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"I thought at first it was a deer", Melchert told The New York Times, saying he soon realized it was Block. "(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'".
Amazingly, Jasmine was even able to help the police seize her perpetrators by identifying their auto nearby.
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.
"The reward money means absolutely nothing to me", he told Block's mother, Sarah Block. "To me, yeah, that's a lot of money, but they need it way [more] than I do".
'We wanted to thank him. But this made me look at things a lot differently.
In the post, Chief Rick Wyffels thanked Melchert for his generosity adding, "it is people like you that make this world a better place".
The three suspects include a friend of the girl's family who lured her from her home.
Barker, Powers and Holby are facing a slurry of charges including felony counts of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault and false imprisonment, according to Fox 9.
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