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Man Saves Missing Teen. Then, Another 'Act of Kindness'
10 October 2017, 12:41 | Marta Robbins
He rescued a kidnapped Minnesota girl. Here's what he did with the $7K reward
A man who helped a teenager after she escaped from her kidnappers has made a decision to give his reward money to her family.
Earl Melchert wasn't supposed to be home that Tuesday afternoon.
The girl later explained that she ran through fields and swam across part of a lake before she ended up at Melchert's home, who immediately called 911.
"Today we witnessed an incredible example of kindness", says Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels.
"I look at Earl as a hero", Wyffels said to the girl and her family in the presentation of the reward.
The 15-year-old girl was abducted from her home on August 8 in Alexandria, Minn., and taken to an abandoned house where she was physically and sexually assaulted.
The girl told police that she'd escaped from an abandoned house, near Melchert's property, where the three suspects allegedly kept her for the previous few days.
Block was finally able to make a run for it after 29 days in captivity when her kidnappers "went to the store to get some food". He told her he needed help with a family situation, Richard Wyffels, the Alexandria police chief, said at a news conference. At that point, she spotted a vehicle belonging to one of the captors driving right past home.
"He believes that young lady that came running towards him that September day is the real hero", the department's Facebook post said.
Melchert gave it to Block. Jasmine's family offered $2,000 of the reward money while $5,000 came from an anonymous donor.
Amazingly, Jasmine was even able to help the police seize her perpetrators by identifying their auto nearby. He says he first thought it was a deer.
"The family needs the money", he said.
"The reward money means absolutely nothing to me", he told Block's mother, Sarah Block.
"To me, yeah, that's a lot of money, but they need it way worse than I do", he said. He told Wyffels in a phone call that he "could use that money more now than ever", the police chief recounted during the presentation, "but it wouldn't be right". "She has her therapy dog and is playing with her friends again".
"Thank you, Earl", the department wrote. And he asked if I was the missing girl from Alex and I said "yes"'.
'We wanted to thank him. "Things are looking up". He is said to have told her that he needed help with a family emergency. "He risked a lot of things and put himself in danger".
Police arrested Thomas Barker, 32, Steven Powers, 20, and Joshua Holby, 31, last month and detained them on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault.
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