ALEXANDRIA, Minn. - After a month in captivity, an Alexandria teen is safe and back with her family following a what authorities are calling a brave escape.
Jasmine Block, 15, disappeared from her home on the 200 block of North McKay Avenue in Alexandria sometime after 10:30 p.m. on Aug. 8.
On Wednesday, Alexandria Police Chief Richard Wyffels provided some details regarding what happened in the 29 days police say she was held captive.
Chief Wyffels believes Block was kidnapped that night by a man whom she knew. The man claimed he needed Block's help with a "family situation." Chief Wyffels says that was the beginning of Block's nightmare.
She was tied up and taken to a home in Carlos, Minnesota. There, Wyffels says Block was repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted. She was often times kept in a closet and often threatened.
On Sept. 6, the three suspects (two from Carlos and one from Mankato) drove Block to several locations, including a cornfield in Grant County. That afternoon, the men left Block alone to get food. Chief Wyffels said this was the first time in 29 days she had the opportunity to escape.
Block ran for help, knocking on the doors of several homes, but no answer.
She eventually swam across a portion of Thompson Lake. Once to shore, she ran to a nearby farm where a man immediately recognized her. He called 911.
The farmer, fearing he too was now in danger, began driving Block to a "safe place" in Elbow Lake. On the way, Chief Wyffels says Block recognized one of the vehicles and men involved. The farmer, still on the line with the 911 dispatcher, notified authorities. They eventually found and arrested the suspect, who led them to the two remaining suspects. All three remain in police custody awaiting formal kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault charges.
"This is an unbelievable young woman," Chief Wyffels said. "She has a lot of strength. We think a lot of her and her family. They're all amazing people."
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