Mankato man suspected in kidnapping of Alexandria teen

Posted September 08, 2017

Jasmine Block, who disappeared from her home in Alexandria, Minn., on August 8, escaped after 29 days of being assaulted, threatened with weapons, and held against her will in a foreclosed home more than 200 miles away, Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels said.

When Jasmine arrived at Thomas Barker's home in Carlos, however, she encountered a "nightmare", says Alexandria Police Chief Rick Wyffels.

The criminal complaints filed against 32-year-old Thomas Jay Barker, 31-year-old Joshua Lee Holby and 20-year-old Steven Michael Samuel Powers detail the plot that led to the special needs teenager being held hostage for a month.

Barker allegedly convinced the teen to get into a vehicle and then drove her to a home in Carlos, Minnesota. Once she was inside, Barker restrained her with zip ties, assaulted her and threatened her with weapons.

During questioning, Powers admitted to staying at Barker's place for two weeks and having sexual relations with the girl.

She told police the men took her to different locations in the area, including a cornfield and into neighboring Grant County before leaving her alone for the first time. The teen reportedly knocked on the doors of a few homes but she did not receive any answers. On behalf of the police department, all of the emergency response people, it's an wonderful story when you have something like this happen.

A Minnesota teen who disappeared last month has been found safe and authorities have arrested three people in connection with her disappearance.

Police eventually tracked down the other two suspects after a state trooper spotted their auto outside a home.

Block, who had taken off her trousers and shoes in the lake to make it easier for her to swim across, ran towards his vehicle and asked him to call 911. On Tuesday afternoon, the three men left Block alone while they traveled to a nearby town for lunch.

Officials said she swam across Thompson Lake. WCCO-TV reported that she found a farmer and asked him to call 911. I also ask to respect jasmine myself and her sisters as we have been apart four weeks and its been a lot so give space. "The family is going to need a lot of privacy and a lot of community support to carry on".

Wyffels explained that Barker, a family acquaintance, had conned Block by saying he required help with some kind of family situation.