Earl Melchert, the farmer who found missing Alexandria teen Jasmine Block, meets with the Alexandria Police Chief. Photo Courtesy: Alexandria Police Department
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (KMSP) - The man who found Jasmine Block, the Alexandria teen who was reportedly kidnapped and held against her will for nearly a month, refused to accept the reward money for finding her and instead decided to give it to her.
Block went missing on Aug. 9 and as the days went on, family members and an anonymous donor pooled donations together for a $7,000 reward for information leading to her safe return.
Block described her nightmarish experience, detailing how her captors transported her in a duffel bag and repeatedly assaulted her for weeks.
Nearly a month after she was taken, Block escaped by swimming across part of Thompson Lake. Earl Melchert later found her when she came running toward him. Melchert recognized her from the missing person reports and called 911.
When law enforcement presented Melchert the reward money, he gave the check to Block as well as a big hug, calling her the "real hero."
Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels says the move shocked everyone in attendance Friday, calling it a showing of "kindness and generosity that came straight from Earl's heart."
"Thank you Earl. It is people like you that make this world a better place," wrote Chief Wyffels in a Facebook post.