In August 2017, a 15-year-old girl, Jasmine Block, from Minnesota was kidnapped and held captive for 29 days in an abandoned home. Jasmine was able to escape when her kidnappers left to get something to eat.
After she knocked on numerous doors without any luck of someone answering, she swam across a lake and began traveling through 65-year-old Earl Melchert's property.
Earl was not supposed to be home that afternoon in September. He was scheduled to be at work managing a fertilizer plant. He returned home because he had forgotten a diesel can that he needed to fill on his way home — he was going to mow the lawn after work.
It was then when Earl spotted something moving in his field. Once Jasmine, too, spotted Earl, she took off running towards him.
“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,’” Earl said. “It’d been on the news, it’d been online. It went national. It was on posters, in stores, her face, her picture. Right away I recognized her.”
He took her into his home where he called the police. The police were able to organize an arrest of her kidnappers. Even though Jasmine was still shaken up, she was able to help the police capture her kidnappers. When the police arrived at Earl’s house, a car drove by, one that Jasmine recognized. She identified the car and the police arrested the three men.