Saturday, 20 January, 2018

Teen held captive for 29 days swims across lake to escape

Teen held captive for 29 days swims across lake to escape Teen held captive for 29 days swims across lake to escape
Christy Curtis | 08 September, 2017, 00:37

From left, Thomas Barker, Steven Powers and Joshua Holby, who authorities say kidnapped, assaulted and held 15-year-old Jasmine Block against her will for almost 30 days after she was taken from her home in Alexandria, Minnesota.

Jasmine Block, 15, of Alexandria, Minn., made it safely across the lake before running onto a property where she received help, CBS Minnesota reported.

Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels reportedly said Jasmine is "an incredible young lady with a lot of strength".

There, Barker allegedly restrained her with zip ties and he and Holby assaulted her, while threatening her with weapons.

During questioning, Powers admitted to staying at Barker's place for two weeks and having sexual relations with the girl.

When Jasmine arrived at Thomas Barker's home in Carlos, however, she encountered a "nightmare", says Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels. Her family told police that Block disappeared without her phone, keys and a backpack she normally carried. The girl, who escaped Tuesday, knew Barker as her friend's dad.

However, the men left her alone Tuesday for the first time since she was abducted and went to a nearby town for lunch. However, Wyffels said that she would need all the support that she can get from her community to recover from the ordeal that she had gone through.

Teen held captive for 29 days swims across lake to escape

'God answers prayers!' she said.

Far too often, something like this becomes a tragic end result, but this time, a young woman's bravery and ingenuity led to a reunion.

'She's an fantastic woman with a lot of strength.

The teen was last seen at her home in the 200 block of McKay Avenue North in Alexandria on August 8 at around 10.30pm. On the other side, she found a resident at home who could help her. She eventually swam across part of Thompson Lake, where she eventually encountered a farmer who instantly recognized her from news reports.

While sitting in the Good Samaritan's vehicle, awaiting police to arrive, Block spotted one of her alleged kidnappers drive by, leading to police tracking down that suspect, reported Voice of Alexandria. She says she was confined to the closet in Barker's house, which had a television and a fan in it. Barker was known to Block and so she offered to assist and entered Barker's vehicle.

Block later assisted police in locating the other two men, and all three were taken into custody.

Authorities arrested these three men on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault. "Unbelievable people. And the victim is now safe with her mother and all of us in this community are proud of her".

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