There are evil people among us. There’s no other explanation for some of the horrifically cruel things that occur in this world.
Most recently, Jasmine Block was a victim of these evil monsters, being abducted on August 8th, 2017, less than a month before she was set to begin high school.
Jasmine’s parents were frantic with worry. Jasmine had been boating with neighbors during the day of August 8th but had returned home after complaining of a migraine. When her parents discovered she was missing, they also discovered she had left everything behind, including her keys, cell phone, and purse. By all appearances, the young girl had simply disappeared.
One month later, approximately 30 miles from the Block residence, Earl Melchert had returned home from work to pick up a diesel can.
As he was preparing to return to his job as a fertilizer plant manager, from the corner of his eye, he noticed something moving outside.
In an interview with the New York Times, Melchert says, “I thought at first it was a deer.”
But, as Earl turned to get a better look, he was stunned to realize it was Jasmine Block, the girl who had been missing for nearly a month.
He tells the New York Times, “I could make out her face, and I went, ‘Oh my gosh, this is the gal from Alexandria that’s been gone for 29 days. It’d been on the news, it’d been online. It went national. It was on posters, in stores, her face, her picture. Right away I recognized her.”
It turns out that when Jasmine had returned from her neighbors on that fateful night one month ago, she had encountered Thomas Barker, a 32-year-old family acquaintance who told her he was having family problems. Because Jasmine knew the man, she decided to help him, and it was when they arrived at Barker’s home that Jasmine was restrained with zip ties and assaulted for the next 29 straight days.
The first time the men left her alone, Jasmine managed to escape. She had tried knocking on doors without any luck before swimming across a lake to get to Earl Melchert’s house.
As luck would have it, as Jasmine and Melchert were talking to police, one of Barker’s co-conspirators, Steven Powers drove by in his car and was immediately arrested.
Earl Melchert ended up receiving a $7,000 reward, offered for information leading to Jasmine’s return.
But, instead of keeping the money for himself, he stunned the community by giving the entire check right back to Jasmine, the true hero of everything that had occurred.
The Alexandria Police Department Facebook page posted a status about the incident.
They wrote, “What no one expected was the kindness and generosity that came straight from Earl’s heart today. He believes that young lady that came running towards him that September day is the real hero and without hesitation, Earl handed the reward over to her, followed by a big hug.”
The story has been catching people’s attention for the past few days.
But for his part, Earl tells the New York Post simply, “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.”
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