Jasmine Block Shares Story of Survival: “She’s a Warrior”
Jasmine was allegedly lured from her Alexandria home August 8th by family acquaintance Thomas Barker. KMSP Fox 9's Paul Blume has this story.
ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — Three suspects charged in the kidnapping and assault of a 15-year-old girl from Alexandria made their initial court appearances.
Thirty-two-year-old Thomas Barker, a family friend, is charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault with a dangerous weapon and false imprisonment.
Steven Powers is charged with kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and false imprisonment.
Joshua Holby is charged with kidnapping and false imprisonment.
Prosecutors say the teen was transported in a duffel bag, kept in a closet and “treated like animal” over the 29 days she was missing.
She was allegedly restrained with zip ties and repeatedly physically and sexually assaulted by Barker and Powers.
That girl, Jasmine Block, is now talking about her nearly month long ordeal where she was “treated like an animal”.
“I usually stayed quiet because I was afraid they would hit me or do something,” Jasmine said.
Jasmine Block is barely 15 and one courageous young woman.
“They put me in a duffel bag to go in the back of the trunk,” Jasmine said.
Jasmine was allegedly lured from her Alexandria home August 8th by family acquaintance Thomas Barker.
The court documents detailed a nightmarish month.
The teen, restrained with zip ties and locked 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 multiple times.
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 and they said it would be about an hour,” Jasmine said.
Jasmine reported that she’d been left alone in one of the suspect’s trucks in rural Barrett, Minnesota and she ran as fast as she could, swimming across a portion of a Grant County lake before finding help from a local farmer and his vehicle, who recognized her.
“I opened the door and told him to ‘call 911, my name is Jasmine M. Block and I’ve been kidnapped,'” she said. “Then he asked me if I’m the missing girl from Alec and I said ‘yes’.
The three suspects now facing various felony counts of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct, assault and false imprisonment.
According to investigators Barker, who suffers from cerebral palsy, admitted that he was on meth and booze.
Jasmine, now trying to heal and her mother wanting to share the teen’s story of survival and thank a community that never gave up, bringing her home alone.
“I think she’s a warrior,” she said. “She’s probably that strongest person I’ve ever known.”
“Sometimes I have problems sleeping because I just think when I close my eyes, I see their face or like I’m scared sometimes to sleep because I’m scared I’m going to have bad nightmares,” Jasmine said.
Deputies knocked on the door of Barker’s trailer one day in August but got no response even though all three suspects were inside at the time.
If you would like to see reporter Paul Blume’s story, click here.