Minnesota Man Who Helped Kidnapped Teen Gives Her His $7K Reward

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. (AP) – Police in Minnesota held a ceremony to reward a man who helped rescue a teenage girl who had been kidnapped and held captive for nearly a month. But Earl Melchert had other ideas.

jasmine block e1507571875547 Minnesota Man Who Helped Kidnapped Teen Gives Her His $7K Reward

This photo of 15-year-old Jasmine Block was circulated at this time of her disappearance. (Photo: Alexandria Police)

When Alexandria Police Chief Richard Wyffels handed Melchert a $7,000 check on Friday, the farmer turned and gave it to the girl, along with a big hug.

Wyffels says Melchert believes the girl is the real hero.

Prosecutors say the 15-year-old was held captive for 29 days last month. She was repeatedly raped and kept locked in a closet before she escaped and swam across a lake to safety. Melchert saw her running across a field, recognized her, and sheltered her in his truck until police arrived.

earl melchert Minnesota Man Who Helped Kidnapped Teen Gives Her His $7K Reward

(Photo Courtesy of Alexandria Police)

Three men have been charged with kidnapping and other counts.

© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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