Jasmine Block Describes 29-Day Abduction, Escape
PAUL BLUME - FOX 9 KMSP
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (KMSP) – Jasmine Block is barely 15 and one courageous young lady.
“I was usually in a closet and I usually stayed quiet because I was scared they might hit me or do something,” said Jasmine.
Jasmine was allegedly lured from her Alexandria home August 8 by family acquaintance Thomas Barker. Court documents detail a nightmarish month.
The suspects restrained the teen restrained, locked her in a closet in Barker’s trailer about 10 miles away in Carlos.
Barker and two friends, Steven Powers and Joshua Holby, allegedly threatened the girl and assaulted her on multiple occasions.
It wasn’t until Tuesday that Jasmine finally found her moment to make a break for it.
“They went to the store to get some food,” she said. “And they said it would be about an hour.”
Jasmine reports that she had been left alone in one of the suspect’s trucks in rural Barrett, Minnesota and she ran as fast as she could. She swam across a portion of a Grant County lake before finding help from a local farmer in his vehicle, who immediately recognized her as the missing teen.
“I opened the door and told him to call 911,” she said. “[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.’”
The three suspects now face various felony counts of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault and false imprisonment.
According to investigators, Barker, who suffers from cerebral palsy, admitted he was on methamphetamine and booze.
Jasmine, now home, is starting to heal from the experience.
“Sometimes [I feel] good,” said Jasmine. “Sometimes not great. Like sometimes, I have problems sleeping because I close my eyes and I see their faces. I’m scared to sleep because I might have bad nightmares.”
Jasmine and her mother want to share the teen’s story of survival and thank a community that never gave up bringing her home alive.
“I think she’s a warrior,” said Sarah Block, Jasmine’s mother. “She’s probably the strongest person I have ever known.”
Jasmine was scheduled to start her freshman year of high school Tuesday, the day of her daring escape. She is now hoping to join her classmates as soon as next week as she moves forward in the healing process.