Published: Fri, September 08, 2017
Worldwide | By Sean Reid

U.S. teen swims across lake to escape abductors

U.S. teen swims across lake to escape abductors

Police in Minnesota are hailing a 15-year-old girl for her bravery after they say she had survived a harrowing month-long ordeal during which she was repeatedly raped and beaten by her captors, until she finally escaped by swimming across a lake to safety.

Authorities arrested these three men on suspicion of kidnapping, false imprisonment and assault.

Arrested are Thomas Barker, 32, and Joshua Holby, 31, of Carlos, Minn., and Steven Powers, 20, of Mankato.

But police said the men left her at the lake home while they went for lunch. Instead, he took her to his home, tied her up with zip ties and began assaulting her.

Holby also assaulted the 15-year-old, as did Powers about two weeks into what the chief described as 'Jasmine's nightmare'.

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"It was from there that she escaped when the three men left her alone to get food", Chief Wyffels said. Block seized the opportunity and escaped from the captivity. After going to neighboring residences for help but not finding anyone at home, she reportedly swam across a portion of a lake and found a man whom she asked to call 911. On behalf of the police department, all of the emergency response people, it's an incredible story when you have something like this happen. While en route, the girl spotted one of the suspect's vehicles. As she took shelter in the man's truck Jasmine informed him that a auto passing by was one of the men who kidnapped her. Melchert relayed that information to arriving officers and the driver, Steven Michael Samuel Powers, was arrested.

Jasmine Block, from Minnesota, was kidnapped on August 8. I also ask to respect jasmine myself and her sisters as we have been apart 4 weeks and its been alot so give space. Block told responding officers that she had been abducted. She is being treated for minor injuries. The girl was last seen by her mother around 10:30 p.m the previous night laying on a recliner suffering from a migraine.

Wyffels thanked the entire community for helping bring Jasmine home safe.

Jasmine has since been reunited with her family.

Wyffels said he is not sure as to why Barker targeted the young girl. The girl went with Barker in a vehicle to the man's home, where she was held against her will.

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